Baltersan Castle, a 16th-century tower-house, lies just six miles from Turnberry. It is also at the center of one of the most important ancient pilgrimage routes in Scotland - from Glasgow Cathedral via Paisley Abbey to Whithorn in Galloway.
There is a panel over the entrance, inscribed “This house was begun the first day of March 1584 by John Kennedy of Pennyglen and Margaret Cathcart, his spouse.”
After John’s death in 1609, Baltersan passed to a succession of Kennedys and even to a cousin, Hugh Arbuthnott, a captain in the British navy. He was resident at the castle for some time and became a Burgess of the Burgh of Ayr in 1725. Around the middle of the 18th century, however, the castle seems to have been abandoned but came back to the ownership once again of the Kennedys of Cassillis. It was bought in the late 19th century by Peter Sturrock, a former Provost (mayor) of Kilmarnock, with the intention of restoring it. But that plan never happened and Baltersan was returned to the Kennedy family. In 1992, the castle was bought by a James Brown - who is planning to restore it to its former grandeur with time-share ownership.
Knowlton Church is a Norman church, built within a neolithic henge monument. Nearby is Great Barrow, the largest round barrow in Dorset. The site of the ancient village of Knowlton (as opposed to the present day hamlet) is located 50 yards west of Knowlton Church along Lumber Lane at the banks of the River Allen. It is believed that the village was a victim of the Black Death.
The village of Knowlton is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086–87 as Chenoltone.