Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castle Semple Loch, tower house to south of loch

A Scheduled Monument in Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire

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Latitude: 55.7943 / 55°47'39"N

Longitude: -4.6148 / 4°36'53"W

OS Eastings: 236169

OS Northings: 658763

OS Grid: NS361587

Mapcode National: GBR 3B.7VB5

Mapcode Global: WH3P9.2MRC

Entry Name: Castle Semple Loch, tower house to S of loch

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7146

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Lochwinnoch

County: Renfrewshire

Electoral Ward: Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch

Traditional County: Renfrewshire


The monument comprises the masonry ruins of a small tower house standing on a narrow stone-built causeway. The ruined building, which measures 13m by 10m on plan and stands to a maximum height of 5m, consists of the ground floor of the tower house, complete with wide-mouthed gunholes and evidence for the stone vault, and a part of the upper floor.

The area to be scheduled includes all of the upstanding ruined building together with an area around, measuring 50m square, in which traces of activities associated with its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It should be noted that this area includes a small portion of the floor of the adjacent loch.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it appears to be a most unusual variant of the late-medieval tower house. Its massive, 3 metre-thick walls, pierced by four wide-mouthed gunholes of 16th-century date, and its overall size suggests that it was constructed not for residence but for defence, making it one of only a few such examples in Scotland. The building, therefore, has the potential to cast important light on the relationship between temporary refuges and permanent residences in a period of intense inter-family feuding.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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