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Preserving the Past for the Future

Castle Stewart (Dumfriesshire) - Past and Present


An example of a small 16th century tower house, Castle Stewart is situated some two miles north of the market town of Newton Stewart in rural Galloway.

Castle Stewart 1900
Castle Stewart circa 1900 covered in ivy. Note the gable still standing.
Castle Stewart 2017
Castle Stewart in 2017 photographed during a Scottish Castles Association tour

It is built with greywacke rubble (a variety of sandstone) which does not split easily. Ashlar (stone which can be shaped) is rare in Galloway and is used sparingly, for example for cills and lintels. The corners, where one would normally find quoins, are rounded due to the lack of freestone.

Castle Stewart’s entrance is at ground level and leads from the ruined vaulted basement via a mural stair to the hall. The walls bear evidence of inserting and filling. Two beautiful stone fireplaces come as a surprise and are similar to those at nearby Cardoness Castle , which the Scottish Castles Association visited in 2008.

The parapet projected on individual corbels.

Castle Stewart’s present state does not reflect the original as the tower would have been rendered and presented a colourful appearance.

There are indications of courtyard buildings.

Castle Stewart, long obscured by ivy, was consolidated some years ago, the scaffolding for which is still in position (see below). However, this good state of affairs is being eroded at the present day.

Castle Stewart corners
LEFT: Note rounded corners and corbelled parapet
RIGHT: Castle Stewart was consolidated some years ago and the scaffolding is still in place today

Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.


Date posted: 14 Jan 2018Last updated: 14 Jan 2018


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