Culzean Pagoda (Monkey House)
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves which is common in parts of Asia. The Culzean pagoda was completed in April 1814 and was designed to house exotic birds and animals.
From the upper floor the Kennedy family enjoyed captured views of the Castle, and Goatfell on Arran. Surviving pagodas are rare, making this one unique in Scotland. There are only three in Britain and this is the only one built from stone. The original architect is unknown.
Most pagodas built in the 18th and 19th centuries were iron or timber structures finished with sheet iron or copper roofs. The roof here was subsequently slated before the structure became derilict and roofless in the 1930s.
The building was reconstructed in 1997 in the spirit of its contemporaries and the main vista, from the Swan Pond, re-established. You can walk to the pagoda from Maidens beach via the steps to Culzean Country Park.
The monkey's tails in the balustrade and the monkey shaped weather-vane are a subtle allusion to the fact that the Kennedy family at one time kept monkeys in the Pagoda, which local people called the 'Monkey House'.