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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Stenhouse (Stirling) Past & Lost

Stenhouse Castle

Stenhouse Castle - sadly demolished in the 1960s

This, the most attractive tower houses, stood just outside the town of Stenhousemuir.

Though it appears homogeneous the right hand wing was added in 1836 along with a low porch to link the structures.

Stenhouse was built in 1622 by William Bruce and was L-planned with a main block and a wing. It was rubble built upon a vaulted basement with a circular stair tower in the re-entrant rising to high pitched, crow stepped gables sporting both circular and square corbelled turrets  (or studies to use the contemporary term).

In its latter days Stenhouse fell out of use as a country house and was subdivided to accommodate tenants. It deteriorated rapidly and although the property of the Carron Ironworks it was totally demolished in the 1960s.

By this time the town of Stenhousemuir has expanded and lapped around its walls. The site is now occupied by a modern bungalow.

Incidentally, the name Stenhouse derives from ‘Stonehouse’ and refers not to the tower house but to a Roman Temple known as 'Arthur’s O’on' (Arthur's Oven) which stood in its grounds. It was recorded as early as the 13th century as a wonder and attributed to King Arthur.

This, the most complete Roman structure in Britain, was demolished in the 18th century by the then owner of Stenhouse and the stones used to cauld the River Carron. Even at the time it provoked an outcry but the Bruces placed self interest above public!

Date posted: 12 Dec 2013Last updated: 08 Dec 2014

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