Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Ackergill Tower - Caithness

Ackergill Tower
Ackergill Tower

Ackergill Tower overlooks the sea from the rocky Caithness cliffs three miles north of Wick. Ackergill would probably once have been surrounded by a ditch or moat.

Built in the late 15th century, it is a massive square five-story tower erected for the Keiths of Inverugie. Oliphants had it for a time, but it later passed to the Dunbars of Hempriggs.

The main entrance is by a round-headed door with cable moulding in the north-west elevation. This leads to the vaulted ground floor, and a straight Bryce baronial stair. The vaulted 16th century hall rose through two storeys, but was transformed by Bryce into an oak-panelled Baronial dining-hall. The upper floors are reached by turnpike stairs, and from a service stair. The third and fourth floors each have two rooms with garderobes, now mural chambers, and have 18th century Gothic windows on the flanking elevations to the towers.

Ackergill Tower Overlooking The Sea
Ackergill Tower overlooking the sea

The two-storey addition houses a library, two drawing-rooms and offices. Alterations were carried out by David Bryce in 1851 for Sir George Dunbar which included the battlemented turret, parapets, a new cap-house and other additions built to the south and east of the tower.

Source: 'The castles of Scotland' by Maurice Lindsay

Added: 08 Apr 2010 Updated: 16 Apr 2019
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