Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Auchenskeock Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.9128 / 54°54'45"N

Longitude: -3.6901 / 3°41'24"W

OS Eastings: 291749

OS Northings: 558868

OS Grid: NX917588

Mapcode National: GBR 2CNM.WQ

Mapcode Global: WH5X8.9S15

Entry Name: Auchenskeock Castle

Scheduled Date: 20 June 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10434

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Colvend and Southwick

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Abbey

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument comprises Auchenskeock Castle (sometimes spelt Auchenskeoch Castle), which is of medieval date and visible as an upstanding ruin. The monument is situated on the NE shoulder of a low hill overlooking the Southwick Water at about 65m OD.

The placename, 'Achinskeauch', is first recorded in 1462. In 1490, it and other lands were granted in feu to John Lindsay, Falconer to James IV, probably as part of his fee. His widow, Marion Bonkle, retained the grant after her husband's death as she remained in service to the Queen. James Lindsay succeeded his father as Master Falconer to James V, and then to Queen Mary.

Only the round tower at the N corner of Auchenskeock Castle and a large proportion of the NE wall of the main block survives. The original form of the castle is therefore conjectural, but it may have been built as a Z-plan towerhouse which would make its form unique in Galloway. It appears to date to the second half of the 16th century or to the early 17th century; and was most probably built by James Lindsay, who died after 1563, or his son John, who died in 1628. It may have resembled a hall house with a simple basement, principal floor with timber partitions (no tusking is evident from the inner wall face to suggest masonry partitions) and a garret.

The walls are constructed of natural granite boulders which were roughly hewn for the window margins and gun loops. The walls are unusually thin (0.8m on average) and survive to a maximum of 7m in height. The unvaulted basement of the castle may have incorporated a kitchen. The round tower contained irregularly shaped rooms with gun-loops at basement level, which would have provided flanking cover for the walls of the main block if the towerhouse was Z-plan. Evidence for the existence of a parapet walk survives on the NE wall. The tall square-plan chimney served the fireplace of the tower's first floor room.

James Lindsay succeeded his father John in 1628, and shortly thereafter he mortgaged the estate to Patrick Young. The Youngs retained the lands until c.1780. The estate change hands later on a number of occasions. The steading of Castle Farm, which subsumes the towerhouse, dates to the 19th century. It is likely that most of the castle was dismantled at this time, although part of the NW wall was still standing in the early 20th century.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be found. It is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 33m SE-NW by 24m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map. All modern structures and the surface area of all yards and floors, to a depth of 300m, should be excluded.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.