Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future


Gilnockie Castle - Dumfriesshire

Gilnockie Castle
Gilnockie Castle - built by the Armstrongs

Little survives of this 16th century castle.

It was a stronghold of the unruly Armstrong clan, who were said to be able to muster 3000 men. The castle was built in 1518 but burned by Lord Dacre, the English Warden of the West March in 1523. In 1530 Johnnie Armstrong and 50 followers were summarily hanged on the spot, without trial, by James V after being tricked into joining the king on a hunting party. The event recorded in the old ballad.


Gilnockie Tower(1)
Gilnockie Tower is a fine example of a 16th century Peel (or Pele) Tower

Another related Peel Tower , still complete, is the 16th century built Gilnockie Tower which is home to the Clan Armstrong. This Tower, originally known as Hollows Tower, is the Gilnockie Tower Reiver Centre and houses many reiving artefacts and the world's largest collection of Armstrong archives.

Wording taken from The Castles of Scotland Third Edition by Martin Coventry



Added: 18 Apr 2010 Updated: 08 Apr 2019
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