The Dunlop clan take their name from an area of the same name in Ayrshire and it is possible that it is derived from the words ‘dun lu’ meaning ‘fort at the bend’.
The name is first recorded around 1260 when Dominous Willelmus de Dunlop is noted as a witness in a deed concerning the Burgh of Irvine.
The lands which would eventually come under the control of the family were originally owned by the family of de Ross and after suffering due to their backing of John Balliol, the deposed King of Scotland during the Scottish wars of independence, their history is uncertain until the 14th century when a James Dunlop is noted as being in possession of the lands.
The original seat of the family was at Dunlop Castle in Ayrshire. However, it was demolished in the 19th century and replaced by a mansion house. It remained the family’s property until 1932 when it was sold to Ayrshire council.