Culzean Castle is dramatically situated on a cliff edge overlooking the Firth of Clyde, about fifteen miles south of Ayr in South-West Scotland. Originally a fortified L-shaped tower house built by the Kennedy family at the end of the 16th century, it was transformed by David Kennedy, who succeeded as the 10th Earl of Cassilis in 1775. He commissioned Robert Adam (1728-1797), the foremost architect of the time, who worked on Culzean over a period of fifteen years, 1777-1792. Adam squared up the traditional L-shaped tower house with a three-storey wing, demolished the 9th Earl's kitchen wing replacing it with a drum tower which brought the focus of the castle to the cliff's edge, and enhanced the 'medieval' turretted aspect. Adam's most celebrated achievement at Culzean was the dramatic oval spiral staircase in the centre of the castle.
The castle is now owned by the National Trust of Scotland. Two views of Culzean from the sea, commissioned by the 12th Earl of Cassallis from Alexander Nasmyth remain in the house.