Ancestral home of Clan Kennedy. This clan dates back to the twelfth century. The Scottish Clan name is thought to have originated from the Gaelic word "Ceannaideach" meaning "ugly head", which was the nickname of Roland, one of the earliest of the known Scottish Kennedys.
A daughter of Robert III of Scotland married a Kennedy (James of Dunure) and they had a son, Sir Gilbert, who was a Regent of Scotland under James III. In 1452, he became the first Lord Kennedy and later (in 1509), the third Lord, Sir David Kennedy, was made Earl of Cassillis.
The Earls of Cassilis built Castle Kennedy in 1607 and it was destroyed by fire in 1716.