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Rebellion & Enlightenment

Cromwellian Scotland

Ruins in the Fort of Ayr


This painting shows the ruins of St John's Tower in the fort built by Cromwell when he held Ayr.   These are the remains of one of five citadels erected by Cromwell in Scotland after he invaded in 1651 and established military control.  A force of 500 men were stationed here between 1651 and 1661.  The congregation of St John the Baptist's kirk was displaced to a new riverside church, today known as the Auld Kirk. This painting shows the ruins of the fort walls, which were pulled down in 1660. In the foreground are the remains of the entrance gate to the fort. The surviving walls by Ayr harbour are the most substantial remains of any of the Cromwellian fortresses in Scotland.

St. John's Tower itself is earlier and was where Robert the Bruce was officially given the crown of Scotland after his coronation at Scone.

oil on canvas
247 x 345mm
Rozelle House Galleries
Accession number:
0722 R
Digital Number:
South Ayrshire Council