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Orchardton Tower (Kirkcudbright) - Past & Present


Situated in rural Kirckcudbrightshire, Orchardton is a small 15th century tower house of unique design. In all respects the arrangement resemble those found in other towers of the period bar one - Orchardton is round in plan.

orchardton 1900

Orchardton at the turn of the last century

Rubble built (originally harled) and roofless, it rises four storeys to a corbelled parapet with a small gabled cap house. The main entrance is by an exterior stone staircase rising to the first floor. This replaces an earlier one of timber. The hall contains a fireplace and a piscina with an ogee lintel. The upper floors were timbered. A separate ground floor door leads to the vaulted basement.

The tower did not stand alone but within a curtain wall with vaulted auxiliary buildings so the present appearance belies the original which would have been quite ‘busy'.

Long neglected (see below), it was taken into state guardianship and is now cared for by Historic Scotland.

orchardton present

Orchardton - present

orchardton internal

Orchardton - looking into hall from wall walk. Note offset for second floor.


Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle


Date posted: 15 Dec 2014Last updated: 07 Jan 2015