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Preserving the Past for the Future

Hoddom Castle (Dumfries) - Past & Present


This massive L-plan tower, rising high above the River Annan, was built by Lord Maxwell between 1565-68 and was regarded as a place of strength.

hoddom castle past

Hoddom Castle in all its glory

This did not sit well with the English for in 1570 the English commander, Lord Scrope, blew up the tower and demolished the outer defences. The castle was repaired and extended in the 17th century and between 1826-32 much of the older work was destroyed and replaced by a ‘Tudor’ range. The castle took on its final appearance in the 1890s.

The Great War marked the watershed of many of the great country houses of Scotland and the second finished them off.

Lifestyles had changed and the cost of upkeep together with that of employing servants was no longer viable. Between 1953 and 1975 much was demolished and the great tower now lies derelict and badly scarred by the removal of its Victorian wings. The grounds are used as a caravan park and when the SCA visited the site in September 2014 they found the tower fenced off and inac-cessible to the public.

It seems that there is little future for Hoddom as its sheer mass counts against it. Meanwhile it continues to deteriorate.

hoddom castle present

Hoddom Castle - present day


Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle


Date posted: 12 Dec 2014Last updated: 07 Jan 2015