As we passed the overgrown gates, topped by a carved Green Man, and left the first mansion of the Kennedy Clan, we headed down a path that led to another, larger mansion they also abandoned, only a century after its building.   Eventually the tall grasses split and I spied the tall walls and turrets of the long forgotten and haunting silent house.  Through low trees, I could see a mossy step that led eventually to an incredible, ornate wooden doorway.

The rooms inside are now a strange mix of nature and architecture, with almost fully intact wooden windows sprouting from grass and weeds, and huge fireplaces amidst piles of fallen timber.  This massive stone pile was built by the most famous architect in the UK during the late 1700s for an opposing Kennedy family line to the Kennedy Earls of Cassilis.  The many family branches had broken into two camps in the 1500s and 1600s, fighting with and often killing each other, until in the end the Earl's supporters won. 

It seemed no coincidence then, that The Earl of Cassilis, at the same time was already building the now famous Culzean Castle, which is considered a sister house, and employing the same architect, Robert Adam. Finished within two years of each other, they were Adam's last great mansion works.  Upon the completion of Culzean, the Earl died the same year, his house now just a larger version of the feuding family's house, built two year prior.

After the death of the Earl, and the mansion's owner, subsequent owners of the house expanded it greatly, but saw financial ruin.  In time, the house passed hands many times in the early to mid 1900s, and the mansion was abandoned and its contents sold.  The house remains, now at least in form as an enduring reminder of the lengths one will go to keep up with the Joneses, and to repay old wrongs.  

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