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Loch Doon Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Doon Valley, East Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.226 / 55°13'33"N

Longitude: -4.3849 / 4°23'5"W

OS Eastings: 248411

OS Northings: 595012

OS Grid: NX484950

Mapcode National: GBR 4L.DYHY

Mapcode Global: WH3S3.MX52

Entry Name: Loch Doon Castle

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1921

Last Amended: 2 October 2019

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90203

Schedule Class: Cultural

Location: Straiton

County: East Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Doon Valley

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Description

The monument consists of the rebuilt remains of Loch Doon Castle, surviving as a substantial stone structure. The castle is located on the west side of Loch Doon, 4km south of Dalmellington.

The castle dates from the late 13th century, and has an extremely unusual eleven-sided curtain wall constructed of high quality ashlar masonry, with the entrance in the north. The entrance was through a large pointed arch entry, with evidence of double doors and a portcullis. In the first half of the 16th century a small tower was added to the inside of the west wall. The re-erected remains do not include this later work.

The castle was documented in 1306 when it fell to the English, marking the elimination of the last Bruce stronghold in the south-west. The castle was again documented in 1333 when it was one of the few strongholds still held for David II. Loch Doon Castle was supposedly destroyed by fire during the reign of James V. In the 19th century the castle was quarried for stone, used in the construction of a nearby shooting lodge. The castle was dismantled and rebuilt 400m to the northwest on the shore of the loch in 1935, when the water level was raised for a hydro-electric scheme. All the architectural carved stonework was reconstructed, while the wall core of the curtain wall was left on Castle Island. There is no potential for below-ground archaeology associated with the rebuilt castle beyond evidence of the reconstruction work.

The scheduled area comprises of only the upstanding fabric of the rebuilt castle walls and their associated foundations, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an unusual example of a polygonal castle of enclosure. This castle played an important strategic role in the Wars of Independence. The surviving architecture, albeit reconstructed, has the potential to inform an understanding of high-quality castellated architecture and planning of the late 13th century. This importance is further reinforced by the fact that this form of castle plan is out of place in lowland Scotland, and is more usually associated with the Gaelic west. This is a rare example of an early 20th century large-scale conservation project, which indicates the considerable importance attached to the fabric of the monument at that time.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NX49SE1.

References:

Cruden S 1960, THE SCOTTISH CASTLE, Edinburgh, 50-4.

Dunbar J G 1966, THE HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, London, 24-5.

Grieg S 1940, VIKING ANTIQUITIES IN SCOTLAND, Viking antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland Part II, Oslo, 153-4.

MacGibbon D and Ross T 1887-92, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND FROM THE TWELFTH TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES, 5v, Edinburgh, Vol. 3, 96-106.

McCormick A 1947, GALLOWAY, THE SPELL OF ITS HILLS AND GLENS, Glasgow, 18, 57, 96-8, 219.

NSA 1845, THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND BY THE MINISTERS OF THE RESPECTIVE PARISHES UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF A COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY, 15v, Edinburgh, Vol.5 (Ayr), 337.

RCAHMS 1983, THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND MONUMENTS OF NORTH CARRICK, KYLE AND CARRICK DISTRICT, STRATHCLYDE REGION, The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Scotland Series No. 17, 25, No. 174, Edinburgh,

Stevenson J B 1985, EXPLORING SCOTLAND'S HERITAGE: THE CLYDE ESTUARY AND CENTRAL REGION, Exploring Scotland's heritage series, Edinburgh, 69, No. 35.

Stevenson J B 1995, EXPLORING SCOTLAND'S HERITAGE: GLASGOW, CLYDESIDE AND STIRLING, Exploring Scotland's Heritage series, Edinburgh, No. 37, 92-3, 2nd ed.

Swan J 1837, SWAN'S VIEWS OF THE LAKES OF SCOTLAND, 2v, Glasgow.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Loch Doon Castle
https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/loch-doon-castle
Find out more

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/63601/

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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