Topic: Culzean Grove (TDN 04/05/2019)

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Culzean Grove

Culzean Grove runs off Glamis Avenue in Bell Block and was named after an opulent castle in Scotland.

In 1975 the Totara Park Development Company created a subdivision in the area called Kingsdown with the slogan “Not just a place to live, but a way of life”. The company was a subsidiary of M.S.D. Speirs, now known as the Speirs Group, who had pioneered fast food restaurants in New Zealand with their Big Tex chain.

The name Kingsdown was chosen to incorporate that of prominent local family the Kings, who had previously owned the land. In keeping with the royal theme, it was decided that all streets in the subdivision would be named after famous British castles, Culzean Grove being one of the first.

Culzean Castle sits on high cliffs overlooking the Firth of Clyde in the Scottish county of Ayreshire. Historic seat of the Kennedy clan, descendants of Robert the Bruce, it was constructed in the 1770s on the site of a medieval fortified tower. The tower had been known as Coif Castle, because of the caves in the cliffs below, but the name later became Cullean and was finally changed to its current spelling in the 18th Century. In Scotland the 'z' in Culzean is silent so the name is pronounced 'Cullane'.

The Kennedy family gifted the castle to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945, allegedly to avoid paying the requisite inheritance tax. Film buffs will know the location from the 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man in which it appears as the castle of Christopher Lee’s Lord Summerisle. Reported to be home to at least seven ghosts, including a piper and a servant girl, Culzean Castle receives around 250,000 visitors every year.

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