The origins of the Boyle name can be traced back to the Norman town of Beauville near Caen.
The first recorded appearance of the family in Scotland appears to be of David de Boivil in 1164 and a Richard de Boyville held the lands of Kelburn in Ayrshire around 1275 while another member of the family, Henry de Boyville, was keeper of the Castles of Wigtown, Dumfries and Kirkcudbright around 1291.
The Boyles would go on to be great supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Charles I in the 16th and 17th century, suffering greatly thanks to their associations with the monarchs. However, the family would see a restoration of their fortunes when John Boyle of Kelburn was elected as a Commissioner of Parliament and a Privy Councillor – he was advanced to the title of Earl of Glasgow in 1703. Boyle would be one of the commissioners that agreed the Treaty of Union with England in 1706.
The present head of the family and clan chief still retains the title of Earl of Glasgow and resides at Kelburn Castle, the clan seat near Fairlie. The castle’s country park is a popular destination for visitors and hosts a number of cultural events, including the ‘Kelburn Garden Party’. It also includes a unique and colourful, ‘Graffiti Wall’, which gives the castle a modern look and makes it instantly recognisable from every other clan seat in the country.