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Preserving the Past for the Future

Drumcoltran Tower (Kirkcudbright) - Past and present


Drumcoltran Tower is situated in a farmyard to the west of New Abbey in rural Kirkcudbright. It is a plain 16th century rubble built L-plan tower with a vaulted basement rising to a parapet born upon individual corbels. The projecting wing may be secondary. Freestone is scarce in Galloway and the corners lack the normal quoins. Traces of a barmkin have been noted

Drumcoltran past

Drumcoltran Tower and farm house pre-1900

In the 18th century a farmhouse was built alongside the tower and linked to it by a passage. This is the building that can be seen in the early photograph above. It ceased to be used around 1900 and is now truncated.

The tower owes its survival to be used as a farm store and some of the openings are evidence of this period of its history.

Drumcoltran present

TOP: Drumcoltran Tower house and redundant farm house 2014
BOTTOM: Re-entrant angle. Note turret at parapet level

In 1951, Drumcoltran came into state care and is now administered by Historic Scotland. It is a pity that the interior offers such a bleak and empty aspect - one would like to see it brought back to life and use.


Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle


Date posted: 03 Feb 2015Last updated: 03 Feb 2015