Ancient Monuments

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Orchardton Tower

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

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Latitude: 54.8769 / 54°52'36"N

Longitude: -3.8453 / 3°50'43"W

OS Eastings: 281696

OS Northings: 555128

OS Grid: NX816551

Mapcode National: GBR 1DL1.9K

Mapcode Global: WH4W7.XP25

Entry Name: Orchardton Tower

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1921

Last Amended: 19 December 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90233

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: tower

Location: Buittle

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Castle Douglas and Crocketford

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire


The monument comprises the remains of the late 15th-century circular tower house known as Orchardton Tower, surviving as earthworks, substantial stone structures and as buried archaeology. Orchardton Tower was first scheduled in 1921 but is being re-scheduled now because no adequate documentation can be traced from the time of the original scheduling.

The lands of Orchardton belonged to the Cairns family, and John Cairns erected a residence on them in the middle of the 15th century.

Orchardton Tower is a free-standing tower, uniquely circular in plan, although in other respects closely resembling the arrangements to be found in the smaller rectangular castles of the 15th century. It is a small rubble-built structure, four storeys in height, the wall-head being crowned by a parapet and walk, and a small gabled cap-house. It is now roofless. The tower did not stand alone: the remains of a barmkin wall, now reduced to turf-covered mounds, lie to the N, E and S of the tower. The remains of secondary buildings with vaulted basements lie to the SW.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. The area proposed for scheduling is concurrent with that of the property in the care of Historic Scotland. The area is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 54.25m N-S by 46m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The modern fences and boundary walls are excluded from the scheduling, as is the upper 300mm surface of the modern paths and car park, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Orchardton Tower
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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