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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Castles in their past and present state by Brian McGarrigle

This section shows what a castle or tower house looked like when photography was in its infancy. We also show what it looks like in its present state. Thankfully, not all are in a sorry state as some fantastic historic buildings have been restored or consolidated. Hopefully we can show potential restorers that there are still many historic building capable of being saved. Sadly, it's too late for some.

Sort by: Default: Newest first Records found: (164)

Busbie Castle (Ayr) Past & Present

Situated near Kilmarnock Busbie was an unusually handsome tower house with some exceptionally fine detailing.

Date added: 26 Feb 2013 read more about busbie castle

Ballinbreich Castle (Fife) Past & Present

Situated on the coast near Newburgh this 14th century castle is in a bad state of repair. It originally consisted of a tower to which additions were made in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Date added: 08 Jan 2013 read more about ballinbreich castle

Corgarff Castle (Aberdeenshire) Past & Present

Corgarff stands on a height near the head of Strathdon on the road to Tomintoull. It belongs to the early part of the 16th century but was rebuilt after its destruction in 1581.

Date added: 20 Dec 2012 read more about corgarff castle

Ailsa Castle (Ayr) Past & Present

Ailsa Castle is perilously situated on a shoulder of rock projecting from the precipitous slopes on the island of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde.

Date added: 29 Sep 2012 read more about ailsa craig castle

Portencross Castle (Ayr) Past & Present

Portencross is a castle that resisted attempts to find it a buyer. It stands above a small rock harbour near to the coastal town of Saltcoats and dates from the 14th century with later additions.

Date added: 27 Sep 2012 read more about portencross castle

Braemar Castle (Aberdeen) Past & Present

Braemar Castle stands in the town of that name on Royal Deeside. It is a 5-storied L-plan tower house with a circular tower in the re-entrant.

Date added: 27 Sep 2012 read more about braemar castle

Dunskey Castle (Wigtown) Past & Present

Dunskey is dramatically situated high on the cliffs above the Irish Sea at Port Patrick. It consists of a 16th century L-plan tower house with a square stair tower in the re-entrant.

Date added: 27 Sep 2012 read more about dunskey castle

Thomaston Castle (Ayr) Past & Present

Thomaston is situated near the famous castle of Culzean on the Ayrshire coast. It is a handsome elongated L-plan tower house with a square tower at the re-entrant.

Date added: 27 Sep 2012 read more about thomaston castle

Newark Castle (Fife) Past & Present

Newark stands high on the coast near the fishing port of St Monans. Dating from the 15th century and extended in the 16th it was heightened and Dutch gables were added in the late 17th.

Date added: 27 Sep 2012 read more about newark castle

Buckholm Tower Part 1 (Roxburgh) Past & Present

Buckholm stands high on the slopes outside the border town of Galashiels. In 1547 Buckholm was ‘treasonably held for the English’ but by 1582 it was in the possession of John Pringle.

Date added: 17 Sep 2012 read more about buckholm tower pt 1

Tinnis Castle (Peebles) Past & Present

Tinnis Castle stands within an Iron Age fort high on a hill near Drumelzier. The site is spectacular though the remains are scant.

Date added: 17 Sep 2012 read more about tinnis castle

Mains Castle (East Kilbride) Past & Present

Mains Castle, stands near the town of East Kilbride in Lanarkshire and dates from the late 15th century. The masonry is of good quality ashlar and rises 3 storeys to a corbelled parapet.

Date added: 14 Sep 2012 read more about mains castle

Kelburn Castle (Ayr) Past & Present

Kelburn is situated above the town of Largs on the Ayrshire coast is now a Country Centre and open to the public.

Date added: 04 Sep 2012 read more about kelburn castle

Sauchie Tower (Clackmannan) Past & Present

Sauchie Tower is a well-built tower house of the 15th century standing some 55 feet high with walls 6 feet thick. It comprises of 4 floors with entresol and is topped by a broad, corbelled parapet with rounds.

Date added: 04 Sep 2012 read more about sauchie tower

Inverquharity Castle (Angus) Past & Present

Inverquharity Castle is an L-plan tower-house of the 15th century. The E wing was demolished before 1884 leaving an ugly scar but the rest of the castle remained in a good state until restoration in 1970.

Date added: 10 Aug 2012 read more about inverquharity castle

Cavers House (Roxburgh) Past & Present

Cavers House (built between 1750 and 1884) was demolished in 1953 but the lofty tower house which formed its nucleus was allowed to remain, albeit as a roofless ruin.

Date added: 12 Jul 2012 read more about cavers house

Hillslap Tower (Roxburgh) Past & Present

Hillslap is situated in the Scottish Borders near to Melrose. A lintel date gives its building as 1585. It is L-plan tower house of 4 storeys with one wing rising higher.

Date added: 12 Jul 2012 read more about hillslap tower

Craigie Castle (Ayrshire) Past & Present

Craigie Castle stands near the the town of Symington with its 12th century church.

Date added: 10 Jul 2012 read more about craigie castle

Kilmartin Castle (Argyll) Past & Present

Kilmartin Castle stands in the village of that name in Argyll. It consists of a low, 16th century Z-plan tower house of random rubble (originally harled).

Date added: 09 Jul 2012 read more about kilmartin castle

Cathcart Castle (Glasgow) Past & Present

This is what happens when a castle comes under the care of Glasgow. Cathcart was a massive tower house of the early 15th century surrounded by a curtain wall equipped with round towers.

Date added: 02 Jul 2012 read more about cathcart castle