Castles in their Past and Present State
Rais Tower (Renfrewshire) - Past & Present
The Tower of Rais, also known as 'Stewart’s Rais', was built in the reign of James II and stood on a bank above the Levern Water. It was recorded as being 'square in form with very thick walls'.
Portencross Castle (Ayr) Past & Present
Portencross is a castle that resisted attempts to find it a buyer. It stands above a small rock harbour near to the coastal town of Saltcoats and dates from the 14th century with later additions.
Ballone Castle (Ross-shire) - Past & Present
Spectacularly situated on the cliff tops near Tain, Ballone is a Z-plan castle of the late 16th century. It has been a superb example of its type with square and round towers flanking the main
Carrick Castle (Argyll) - Past & Present
This early 15th century castle is built on a rock jutting into Loch Goil. A stronghold of the Clan Campbell it was bombarded by HMS Kingfisher in 1685 during 'Argyll's Rebellion' resulting in
Hatton Castle (Angus) - Past & Present
Built in 1575 on the Z-plan, Hatton comprises an oblong block with a square tower at each of the NE and SW angles; there is a circular turret in the re-entrant angle of the NE tower.
Dairsie Castle (Fife) - Past & Present
Dairsie Castle was a shattered ruin of a 16th century castle consisting of an oblong main block with circular towers at diagonally opposite angles. In 1996 it was fully restored.
Forter Castle (Angus) - Past & Present
Forter, a late 16th century tower house, was until recently abandoned and ruined. However in 1988, for the sum of £15,000, it was purchased and restored in the astonishing time of 2 years.
Wallace's Tower (Aberdeen) - Past & Present
More correctly known as Benholm's Tower this small Z plan tower of around 1600 originally stood outside the Aberdeen city boundary. Moved brick by brick to make way for a shopping centre.
Hallyards Castle (West Lothian) - Past & Present
Hallyards Castle was a mid-17th C mansion with crow stepped gables and a stair turret projecting from one side. One of the corners was cut away in a curious fashion. A date above a window
Stoneypath Tower (East Lothian) Past & Present
Stoneypath Tower has been rescued from collapse and now forms an attractive dwelling house. Situated near Haddington it is an L-plan tower house of the 15th C with walls 9 feet thick at
Law Castle (Ayrshire) - Past & Present
Law Castle is situated above the town of West Kilbride in Ayrshire. Built about 1468 it consists of a tall, oblong tower house of 4 storeys and parapet projecting on continuous corbelling.
Cathcart Castle (Glasgow) Past & Present
This is what happens when a castle comes under the care of Glasgow. Cathcart was a massive tower house of the early 15th century surrounded by a curtain wall equipped with round towers.
Torwood Castle (Stirling) Past & Present
Torwood Castle stands high on its wooded hilltop near Stirling. It is a 3-4 storey L-plan tower with a cobbled courtyard enclosed on 3 sides by buildings including a gate house of which the
latter is much reduced.
Cavers House (Roxburgh) Past & Present
Cavers House (built between 1750 and 1884) was demolished in 1953 but the lofty tower house which formed its nucleus was allowed to remain, albeit as a roofless ruin.
Hillslap Tower (Roxburgh) Past & Present
Hillslap is situated in the Scottish Borders near to Melrose. A lintel date gives its building as 1585. It is L-plan tower house of 4 storeys with one wing rising higher.
Inverquharity Castle (Angus) Past & Present
Inverquharity Castle is an L-plan tower-house of the 15th century. The E wing was demolished before 1884 leaving an ugly scar but the rest of the castle remained in a good state until
restoration in 1970.
Sauchie Tower (Clackmannan) Past & Present
Sauchie Tower is a well-built tower house of the 15th century standing some 55 feet high with walls 6 feet thick. It comprises of 4 floors with entresol and is topped by a broad, corbelled
parapet with rounds.
Mains Castle (East Kilbride) Past & Present
Mains Castle, stands near the town of East Kilbride in Lanarkshire and dates from the late 15th century. The masonry is of good quality ashlar and rises 3 storeys to a corbelled parapet.
Dunskey Castle (Wigtown) Past & Present
Dunskey is dramatically situated high on the cliffs above the Irish Sea at Port Patrick. It consists of a 16th century L-plan tower house with a square stair tower in the re-entrant.
Thomaston Castle (Ayr) Past & Present
Thomaston is situated near the famous castle of Culzean on the Ayrshire coast. It is a handsome elongated L-plan tower house with a square tower at the re-entrant.
Newark Castle (Fife) Past & Present
Newark stands high on the coast near the fishing port of St Monans. Dating from the 15th century and extended in the 16th it was heightened and Dutch gables were added in the late 17th.
Ailsa Castle (Ayr) Past & Present
Ailsa Castle is perilously situated on a shoulder of rock projecting from the precipitous slopes on the island of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde.
Ballinbreich Castle (Fife) Past & Present
Situated on the coast near Newburgh this 14th century castle is in a bad state of repair. It originally consisted of a tower to which additions were made in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Ravenstone Castle (Wigtown) Past & Present
Situated in the Machars, Ravenstone is late 16th century L-plan tower house extended in the 17th, again in 18th with a full height, double bowed front and finally with large Victorian wing.
Castlewigg (Wigtown) Past & Present
Situated about 3 miles NW of Whithorn, Castlewigg presents a sorry state. A panel dates this L-plan tower house to 1595 and vaulting, together with a gun loop, supports the fact.
Lochnaw Castle (Wigtown) Past & Present
The 16th century tower of Lochnaw is beautifully situated on the loch of that name near Stranraer. A wing with steeply pitched roof (originally thatched) was added in 1663 followed by yet
another in 1704.
Mar's Work (Stirling) Past & Present
This beautiful and accomplished 16th century lodging is situated nearby Stirling Castle. Built by the Regent Mar it is closely modeled on the palace of James V in that castle.
St John's Tower (Wigtown) Past & Present
This 16th century tower stands in the town of Stranraer close to the shore. In the 19th century lacking a 'lock up' the tower was converted into the town jail with cells for fellons and debtors.
Redcastle (Ross) Past & Present
Redcastle is situated at the end of a steep sided promontory and occupies the site of a much older structure. The remains indicate an L-plan tower house of the 16th century with additions of
Clackmanan Tower (Clackmanan) Past & Present
Clackmannan Tower is situated on a prominent ridge about 2 miles from Alloa and is visible for miles around. Rather surprisingly for such a high and exposed location there were once terraces
Macduff's Castle (Fife) Past & Present
This castle is situated above the shore in the town of East Wemyss, Fife. Built of the local red stand stone it has weathered badly. Below the castle are the famous caves with their Pictish
Fairburn Tower (Ross) Past and Present
Fairburn Tower, a roofless 16th century tower house, is situated at Muir of Ord in Ross. It consists of an oblong tower to which a four storey stair tower was added in the 17th century.
Dunure Castle (Ayr) Past & Present
Situated above the sea near to Ayr, Dunure is a splendid medieval ruin dating from the 14th century and later. Abandoned (or slighted) after the Civil War .
Finlarig Castle (Perth) Past & Present
Finlarig Castle stands, hidden by trees, on a mound just outside the village of Killin in Perthshire. It is in a dangerous state and totally uncared for.
Lochhouse Tower (Dumfries) Past & Present
Lochhouse is a little 16th century border tower and stands very near the town of Moffat. Rubble built, it rises from a vaulted basement to the corbels that once supported a parapet and gunloops are evident.
Ravenscraig Castle (Fife) Past & Present
This massive castle, designed to withstand cannon, overlooks the Firth of Forth near Kirkcaldy. Long in ruin it was taken over by Historic Scotland in the 1970s.
Borthwick Castle (Lothian) Past & Present
This is, by far, the finest tower house in Scotland. Built of ashlar in the 15th century it rises high to a machicolated parapet. It is surrounded by an outer wall punctuated by towers.
Stenhouse (Stirling) Past & Lost
Stenhouse was a most attractive tower house stood just outside the town of Stenhousemuir. Though at first sight it appears to be the one building the part to the right was built in 1836.
Cessford Castle (Roxburgh) Past & Present
Cessford Castle stands on a hill top near Morebattle and forms a prominent landmark. A 15th century L-plan border fortress with walls 14 feet thick this castle had an eventful history.
Old Sauchie (Stirling) Past & Present
This attractive little 16th century L-plan tower house near Bannockburn was a mere shell until it was purchased and splendidly restored by a SCA member.
Gight Castle (Aberdeen) Past & Present
Situated near Pitmedden Gight is a 16th century L-plan tower with ranges of later outbuildings. It stands isolated on a steep slope above the River Ythan amidst the remains of once splendid
Barr Castle (Renfrew) Past & Present
Barr Castle stands on a ridge with wide views over Lochwinnoch and near the village of that name. It it a notable landmark for travelers though difficult to find a place to park! It is an early 16th
Aldbar Castle (Angus) Past & Lost
This Category B Listed building stood some 2 miles west of the town of Brechin. It was a massive tower house of 1540 built by Sir Thomas Lyon and reckoned a place of some strength.
Herbertshire Castle (Stirling) Past & Lost
This great L-plan tower house stood on elevated ground above the River Carron at Dunipace and formed a landmark for miles around. It appears to have dated from the 16th century.
Ochiltree House (Ayr) Past & Lost
Ochiltree House stood in the village of that name in Ayrshire. It is not to be confused with the Ochiltree in Lothian. It was a plain building, 3 storeys high with crow stepped gables and a slate
Monklands House (Lanark) Past & Lost
Monklands House lay in a glen below Monkland’s Bridge in Airdrie. This splendid Renaissance Palace was built by Sir James Clelland of Monklands and was surrounded by gardens
and policy woodlands.
Craighall Castle (Fife) Past & Lost
Craighall Castle was situated near to the town of Cupar in Fife. It was a multi period building. The early tower house was built by Sir Thomas Hope in 1637.
Niddrie House (Lothian) Past & Lost
Niddrie stood some 3 miles south-east from the GPO in Edinburgh. It was a ‘stately widespread structure, greatly altered and added to in the course of time’.
Bothwell Castle (Lothian) Past & Lost
Bothwell Castle stood in the town of Haddington and was a late 16th/early 17th century building with projecting wings forming a courtyard towards the river and a round tower facing the street.
Fingask Castle (Perth) Past and Present
Fingask was a L-plan tower house of the late 16th century; extended in 1674 and remodelled in the 18th and 19th centuries. These additions were removed in 1925 when the castle took its
Stirling Castle Great Hall - Past & Present
The Great Hall at Stirling Castle was built by James IV around 1503. It served as the focal point for royal celebrations until it fell into disuse in the late 17th
Crookston Castle (Renfrew) Past & Present
Crookston stands high on a hill within the housing scheme of Pollok, Glasgow. It is a tower house of the late 14th century consisting of a massive oblong block flanked by 4 corner towers.
Dun Troddan (Inverness) Past & Present
In 'The Scottish Castle' published in 1960 Stewart Cruden included brochs as amongst 'The Earliest Castles'. These iron age structures deserve the appellation 'castle' and are unique to
Spynie Palace (Moray) Past & Present
Spynie is regarded as one of the finest tower houses in the land. Long in a state of neglect it is now under the protection of Historic Scotland who have undertaken a extensive programme of
repairs and excavations.
Carberry Tower (Lothian) - Past and Present
Carberry is situated some three miles from the seaside town of Musselburgh. It dates from many periods but the nucleus is a massively strong tower of the early 16th century with a late 16th century extension.
Caldwell Tower (Renfrew) Past & Present
Caldwell is a 16th century tower visible for miles high on its hilltop. Its somewhat truncated appearance is due to the fact that it was once part of a larger courtyard castle.
Gilston Peel (Lothian) Past & Present
Gilston Peel is situated in the borders near to Lauder. It appears to have been a small tower house (or peel) of the late 16th century which, having fallen into ruin, was fitted up for agricultural.
Amisfield Tower (Dumfries) - Past & Present
Amisfiled Tower is the finest tower house in southern Scotland. It is a vaulted building of two parts: the lower storeys being 16th century and the
exuberant upper storeys which date from 1600.
Eastshield (Lanark) - Past & Present
Set in rural Lanark near to Carnwath Eastshield is a 16th century tower house reduced to a 30 foot staircase tower and the scant remains of the main block.
Waygateshaw (Lanark) - Past and present
From 1539 Waygateshaw was a house of the Lockhart family. In 1572 Stephen Lockhart was indicted for the murder of Lord Darnley. Today's house is
comfortable and commodious while the original three storey tower is largely unused, except for storage.
Stalker Castle (Argyll) - Past and Present
One of the most iconic castles of Scotland, Stalker stands on a rocky islet at the mouth of Loch Laich in Appin. It was roofless from 1831 until 1965 when it was restored.
Rossend Castle (Fife) - Past and Present
Rossend Castle stands proudly above the Firth of Forth and once provided a lodging for Mary Queen of Scots - and allegedly a French poet whose evening with the Queen came to an
Isle Tower (Wigtown) - Past and Present
A tower which Nigel Tranter claimed could be the latest - and also the most southerly - castle in Scotland reveals its charms and how they have stood the test of time.
French Castles - Past and Present
Princely pads for Napoleon, the fallout of warfare and the ravages of time, this trio of French castles have faced their battles. Find out how they've fared here.
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