Here's the case for the defence; an article from the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald in July 1972, describing the concerns of local residents about the potential dangers of the ruins being fully accessible so near to their homes. Reading that, and looking at GEOGDC's pictures of the state of the more fragmentary walls , fencing them off securely seems to me really like it was the least bad solution all round.
Note that there seems to have been a story of a tunnel associated with this castle too !
These local youngsters who posed for their picture as accompaniment to the article nust be in their mid-forties now; wonder if any of them might recognise themselves here ?
KERELAW RUINS ARE DANGEROUS, CLAIM RESIDENTS
Although residents in Kerelaw housing scheme, Stevenston, claim that the ruins of Kerelaw Castle are a danger to children, the town council has told them that the ruins will remain in the state they are in. However, Sir Fitzroy Maclean, MP for Bute and North Ayrshire, is to ask the council to reconsider their decision.
Recently Kerelaw Tenants' Association met the town council and put forward a number of complaints, and suggestions for the improvement of the housing scheme, and because several tenants were "quite alarmed" about the state of the castle ruins which loom over part of the scheme, the association asked the council to take urgent action on the matter.
The council did, in fact, take some action by sending workmen to Kerelaw to brick up some of the holes in the old castle walls but the tenants consider that this was not sufficient and want further work carried out.
The association chairman, Mr Willie Burns of 22 Campbell Avenue ,told a "Herald" reporter that the council had sent him a letter informing the tenants that as far as the council was concerned they intended keeping the ruins in the state they were in.
Mr Burns said that the association photographed the dangerous aspects of the castle and had sent an illustrated report to Sir Fitzroy Maclean who promised to help the tenants.
"The photographs show," he added, "that the ruins are definitely dangerous and should be demolished. You read about kids getting killed by falling walls, and this castle is hanging over the kids' playing area."
Mr Alex Mungall, 104 Campbell Avenue, who is treasurer of the association told our reporter that he considered the old castle to be very dangerous and this had been aggravated by trouble with vandals "knocking lumps off the walls."
Mr Mungall pointed out the dangerous features of Kerelaw Castle by showing our reporter the crumbling stonework, and how easy it was for large stones to become dislodged. He also pointed out how one wall had inclined throughout the years and was now at an angle while numerous cracks had formed in the walls making the structure unsafe. Mr Mungall said that Sir Fitzroy was hoping to inspect the castle.
" There is a large grass area adjacent to the ruins, " he added, " and considering that children are attracted to the area the great fear is that someone will be hurt. The council has patched some holes up but it doesn't reduce the danger . "
The castle is only several yards away from some tenants' back gardens and one tenant, Mr. Charles Tedford of 55 Campbell Avenue expressed the anxiety that he and some neighbours had, that it was possible for falling stones to land in their gardens.
"The place is crumbling, " Mr Tedford said, "and the wire fence which surrounds it cannot keep children out. Boys have knocked hollows in the walls with hammers and if kids happen to be toddling about when bricks fall they would be dead. The ruins are a big attraction for the children and we cannot always keep them away."
Mr Tedford's neighbour was adamant that the castle should be demolished, describing it as "only bricks" and that she did not see much point in anyone coming to see it.
"When I first moved here," she added, "I thought they would pull it down and I was disappointed that they didn't. It is unsafe I'm quite sure because I've never seen a worse ruin and if they want to keep it for historical reasons they must be off their heads."
Mr Pat Higgins of 55 Campbell Avenue told our reporter that he thought it should be pulled down or that signs should be erected warning people to keep out because it was dangerous.
"It should be levelled off in my opinion. Someone told me that there is a tunnel underneath it and that is why one side is coming away and cracks are appearing in the walls."
Other residents were of the opinion that the castle was dangerous and attracted vandals and one woman said that the accident which everyone wanted to prevent would happen before something was done about it.
The only dissenting voice came from a housewife who claimed that if the castle had a roof she would like to live in it.