Craigie Castle, Gaelic Caisteil Chreagaidh, was originally built for the Lyndesay or Lindsay clan. The castle passed to John Wallace of Riccarton through marriage about 1371 as the last heir was a daughter. This line of the Ayrshire Wallaces then lived at Craigie Castle until they moved to Newton Castle in Ayr in 1588. Craigie Castle was then left to fall into ruin. It was the belief of Mrs Frances Dunlop of Dunlop, a lineal descendent of William Wallace, that he was born at his grandfather's home of Craigie Castle. William only moved away after a number of years had passed due to the burgeoning size of the family and the lack of space at Craigie.
The present Gothic castellated ruins date mainly from the 15th century, with some 12th or 13th century work. Another view is that the main part of the building was a hall house dating from the 12th or 13th century, incorporating an even earlier building which may have been built by the predecessors of Walter Hose who held sway prior to Anglo-Norman control.
The buildings were surrounded by ditches and natural lochans; enclosing an area of about 4 acres (16,000 m2). It had a high quality rib-vaulted hall consisting of three bays over an unvaulted basement, but architectural historians have found traces of an earlier hall which had a crenellated parapet rising flush with the main wall-face. In the centre of one wall was a round-arched doorway, and opposite this a late medieval fireplace, added in the 15th century, was built over another round-arched opening.
The castle contains one of the finest examples of a vaulted hall in Scotland, easily equal to any Scottish abbey or church. The only rivals of the same period are Tulliallan, Bothwell, and Auchendoun. It has been stated that in its time Craigie was the most impressive building of its kind in Ayrshire.
Due to the condition of the structures it has proved difficult to determine the original plan, but the remains suggest that it was originally a simple rectangle of suitable size for a building such as an early hall-house. Craigie Castle may originally have been a hall-house of the late 12th or early 13th century with a wide crenellate parapet enclosing a saddleback roof. During the 15th century it seems that these crenellations were built over and a new hall fashioned on the walls of its predecessor.