Ancient Monuments

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Castle Earthworks,enclosure 500m SSW of Mains of Greenlaw

A Scheduled Monument in Castle Douglas and Crocketford, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9508 / 54°57'2"N

Longitude: -3.9674 / 3°58'2"W

OS Eastings: 274093

OS Northings: 563565

OS Grid: NX740635

Mapcode National: GBR 0CQ6.V2

Mapcode Global: WH4VT.1T0J

Entry Name: Castle Earthworks,enclosure 500m SSW of Mains of Greenlaw

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6110

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Crossmichael

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Castle Douglas and Crocketford

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument consists of the earthworks formerly surrounding, and the site of, the Fortalice of Greenlaw, a small defended house rebuilt between 1735 and 1741 on a site which was occupied at the Reformation. Only the outworks of this site survive above ground. These take the form of an irregular enclosure, in plan between a rectangle and an oval, edged by a bank with an external ditch.

The bank stands up to 0.4m high. A gap in the bank on the NE side may indicate an entrance there. The bank is best preserved at the N, W and E angles, elsewhere being generally reduced to a scarp, except on the S side, where it is largely absent, lying beneath a modern unsurfaced road which also overlies most of a broad external terrace scarped to the S.

The ditch is from 7m to 8m broad, and has a V-shaped profile. Most of its lower portion is in use as part of the modern field drainage. Limited excavations in the 1920s revealed foundations of a square tower and an L-shaped range of outbuildings within the enclosure, as well as less convincing traces of a gatehouse.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, bounded partly by the inner lip of the ditch (which having been regularly cleaned out is unlikely to contain any archaeological deposits) and partly by the fence and hedge lines surrounding the enclosure, which is in use as a paddock for horses.

The modern agricultural building and all modern boundary fences and hedges are excluded from scheduling. The area to be scheduled measures a maximum of 190m WSW-ENE by 140m, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the site of a late-medieval fortified residence with proven archaeological potential to provide information about later fortified dwellings and domestic architecture during the 16th to 18th centuries, and about contemporary material culture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NX 76 SW 9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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