Deep Roots

Deep Roots was Kilmarnock's major Homecoming Scotland 2014 event, funded by EventScotland and Heritage Lottery Fund, featuring exhibitions, spectacular outdoor performances and much more – all revealing the hidden secrets of Dean Castle and Country Park.

The Deep Roots project emerged from the important and intriguing history of the Boyd Family, residents and Lords of Kilmarnock for over 400 years. The Boyds are a famous Scottish family with deep roots linked to many key moments in Scottish history and their story was retold in a range of truly unique, one off events at their ancestral home – Dean Castle.

Bloody Boyds, was an exciting self-guided outdoor theatre performance developed by Conflux, one of Scotland’s leading outdoor theatre companies. 18 live performances took place over Halloween weekend and completely sold out! Groups of visitors headed off into the woods of the country park encountering some gruesome sights along the way including a headless tea party!

The finale event on Friday 14th November saw Dean Castle Country Park come to life with 1400 school pupils marching around the lands of the Boyds, with shields and school flags that they created in class prior to the event, working with visual artists and storytellers to create their own family history. After a battle re-enactment by Living History, demonstrating how the lands of Kilmarnock came to be, pupils saw the castle walls come to life as dusk fell with an animation of the Boyds history developed by Smudge Digital, bringing our year of Homecoming to a spectacular end!

Learn more about the history of the Boyd Family and their ancestral home, Dean Castle in this beautiful animation from @SmudgeDigital


If you’re looking for an unusual gift for friends or family, to remember a loved one or commemorate a special occasion, this is the perfect opportunity to do so within the designated landscape of Kilmarnock’s stunning country park. The cost of sponsoring a tree is £20. Contact 01563 554743-4736.