Ancient Monuments

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Wamphray,motte and bailey 100m NNE of Wamphray House

A Scheduled Monument in Annandale North, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.2551 / 55°15'18"N

Longitude: -3.3729 / 3°22'22"W

OS Eastings: 312833

OS Northings: 596519

OS Grid: NY128965

Mapcode National: GBR 47WP.K0

Mapcode Global: WH6X0.553P

Entry Name: Wamphray,motte and bailey 100m NNE of Wamphray House

Scheduled Date: 25 March 1954

Last Amended: 22 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM714

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: bailey

Location: Wamphray

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale North

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire


The site lies on a promontory set high above the Wamphray Water. The steep drop provides a strong defence along 2 of the 3 sides of the site (the east and south) but is supplemented by a wall, now surviving only fragmentarily along the edge. To the north west the defensive perimeter on the flat approach to the site is probably formed by the north west wall of one of the ranges of buildings within the Castle. The ranges seem to surround a small courtyard on its west, south and east. The north side opens towards the motte, which is probably the earliest part of the Castle. The buildings along the east and west side have 2 rooms and measures 13-14 metres long and 6-7 metres broad . The buildings of the 3rd side of the courtyard are less well defined. The entrance to the courtyard, and perhaps to the Castle, lies between the east range and the motte, implying perhaps that there was once more room between the motte and the steep drop to the Water than now survives. The motte, the only scheduled part of the monument, measures 3-4m in height. It is incomplete on its north east side.

The site seems to have been occupied from the 12th Century until 1746. The Castle was the ?Auld Castle? of the Johnstones, lairds of Wamphray from 1476 until 1746.

The area proposed to for scheduling includes the promontory, containing the motte and the building described above. The boundary chosen for the north west edge of the scheduled area is the edge of what was the field containing the Castle. The area of scheduling extends this far to the north west to include defensive and settlement features not immediately visible but which informed judgement would consider present. The area measures 95m N-S and 70m E-W.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a field monument, and to the themes of medieval and post-medieval settlement, defence and political organisation. The site is a good example of the retention of a motte as the focus of occupation, when the domestic facilities were extended. The domestic buildings survive as relatively substantial mounds. The site seems little disturbed and has high archaeological potential.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS Dumfriesshire 1920, 219-20, No 617.

TDGNH & AS 33, 1956, 64 (R. W. Feachem).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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