The 'Place', or Palace, was built around 1460, by Sir Thomas Boyd’s son, Robert Boyd. This building was designed to accommodate the expanding role that the Boyd family held in society and within political circles. The Palace comprises a large banqueting hall, private chambers and kitchens. The presence of many windows, larger than those of the Keep, indicate a move toward a less defensive, more diplomatic society. The Palace building showcased the family’s wealth and power. The original wooden staircase connecting the floors was built on the outside of the building. However, due to the wet climate, a stone staircase was later added inside the building.
Above the main door of the Palace, you can see the Boyd Coat of Arms which is carved into the stone. The weathered carving dates from 1642 and carried the Boyd motto ‘Confido’ alongside the Coat of Arms and also carried an inscription which read ‘James Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock, Dame Katherine Crayke his Lady’
A fire destroyed Dean Castle in 1735 and this likely started in the Palace Kitchen. It lay in ruins until it was inherited by the 8th Lord Howard de Walden in 1899 and the restorations to the Palace were completed in the 1930s.
Within the Palace is the Kitchen, Banqueting Hall and Lord Boyd’s Chamber. Due to the stairs in the building, only the first floor will be accessible to some visitors. We have tried to bring the Castle to life for those visitors with an AV which tells the story of the Boyd Family, narrated by Outlander's Steven Cree as well as a 360 degree tour which can be viewed in the accessible Palace Kitchen (level entry access is available via ramps at the gift shop entrance)