Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Amisfield Tower (Dumfries) - Past & Present

The finest tower house in southern Scotland, Amisfield could have been lifted straight from Aberdeenshire and plunked down in Dumfries. One thinks of Crathes; Craigievar and Cluny.

It is a vaulted building of two parts: the lower storeys being 16th century and the exuberant upper storeys which date from 1600.

amisfield tower

Card posted 1904 (note empty window voids) and Amisfield Tower today

It is liberally provided with turrets and gunloops and even a machicolated box above the entrance at a time when James VI was about to ascend the English throne. An interesting feature is the ‘Laird’s Lug’ a secret chamber where the laird could overhear what was being said about him in the hall below. This is not unusual in Scotland and other examples abound, for instance at Castle Fraser.

There are signs of plaster and paintwork and a handsome carved door is now in the national museum in Edinburgh.

Amisfield has always remained roofed but was left for a modern mansion in the 18th century. It is in good condition although the interior requires attention and one could wish for it to be re-harled to emphasise the dressed stonework.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle

Added: 12 Dec 2014 Updated: 18 Jan 2015
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