Ancient Monuments

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Kilmahew Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Helensburgh and Lomond South, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.9726 / 55°58'21"N

Longitude: -4.6428 / 4°38'34"W

OS Eastings: 235171

OS Northings: 678666

OS Grid: NS351786

Mapcode National: GBR 0J.WLZD

Mapcode Global: WH2MC.N4BN

Entry Name: Kilmahew Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 July 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5404

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Cardross

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Helensburgh and Lomond South

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire


The monument consists of the remains of a keep of the period 1542 to 1700.

The castle which was the seat of the Napiers, is located on the W side of the Kilmahew Burn. It is rectangular on plan measuring 14.1m N-S by 7.7m E-W over walls 1.2m thick and c.11m high. The castle was considerably altered in the 19th century with a view to utilising it as a modern mansion but this work was never completed. The S and W walls have been rebuilt and the fireplace and recesses in the E wall appear to have been a product of this period. The entrance doorway at the SW angle was also added. Few of the original features survive. The original entrance is in the NW wall, directly above it are two projecting corbels in the parapet. These probably carried a battlement to protect the door. Some smaller corbels are preserved on the parapet. The staircase probably ascended from the NW angle, while a passage in the W wall would have given access to the kitchen and cellars on the ground floor. The kitchen fireplace survives in the North end. The original masonry is random coursed rubble with freestone quoins, the 19th-century alterations use thinly coursed stone.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular and measures a maximum of 20m E-W by 30m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because although it has been considerably altered it still preserves original architectural details. It may provide evidence for domestic and defensive occupation and as such may contribute to our understanding of Scottish medieval life and society.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NS37NE 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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