Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Duchal Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Inverclyde East, Inverclyde

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Latitude: 55.8809 / 55°52'51"N

Longitude: -4.6639 / 4°39'50"W

OS Eastings: 233460

OS Northings: 668518

OS Grid: NS334685

Mapcode National: GBR 38.2GSS

Mapcode Global: WH2MR.BF9Y

Entry Name: Duchal Castle

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5522

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Kilmacolm

County: Inverclyde

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde East

Traditional County: Renfrewshire


The monument consists of the remains of Duchal Castle, an extensive 13th century fortified site. The castle is naturally well defended on a piece of ground cut off steeply on the N and S by the confluence of the Green Water and the Blackwater burn. The site was originally surrounded by a massive enceinte wall, several portions of which survive on the N and E.

It is made of random rubble and is approximately 5m high on the E. The wall varies in thickness from 1.5 to 2.5m. In the NE section of wall there is a deep chute dropping to the river which may have been a well or garderobe. In the SE portion on a rock outcrop 5-6m high are the footings of a Keep, 9m square over walls 1-1.5m thick. In the W portion there was a substantial ditch which meant that the site was almost detached from the surrounding land mass.

Much of this ditch has been filled in to accommodate the road and a passing place. The area to be scheduled is irregular and measures a maximum of 90m NW-SE by 40m NE-SW, to include the castle, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it was a 13th-century fortress of substantial proportions. Although the remains are somewhat diminished in strength, the site preserves evidence for defensive architecture and domestic occupation. Its importance is further enhanced by the historic evidence for its siege by James IV in 1489 when it was held by the Earl of Lennox.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded in the RCAHMS as NS 36 NW 8.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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