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Threave Castle

Massive tower house on an island which was the home of Black Douglas in the C15th until 1455. Managed by Historic Scotland and excellent example of the mediaeval castle architects art.

You have to cross the river by boat even today which demonstrates what an excellent and defensible position this castle occupied. Even in semi-ruinous state, it is an impressive and forbidding site. The original tower was 100 foot tall and would have been surrounded by a range of other buildings which have now gone leaving the tower in solitary splendour.

The castle was built by Archibald Douglas as his main retreat against both the English and the men of Galloway who he was pacifying. The design was innovative and represents on of the first tower houses which was in refined form to become the dominant style of Scottish castles thereafter.

At the end of the day, the Douglas' grew too powerful for the Scottish kings and the castle was beseiged. In fact, it proved too strong for the Scottish attackers, but where power failed, bribery succeeded and the castle fell. After its fall, it remained a powerful reminnder of Douglas power but was never to play an important role in Scottish history.

Opening Times

Summer: 25 March - 30 September, Daily, 10am to last outward sailing at 4.30pm. Last return sailing at 5.00pm

Winter (Oct only): 1 - 31 October, Daily, 10am to last outward sailing at 3.30pm. Last return sailing at 4.00pm

A path and steep steps lead to a small boat making it unsuitable for visitors using a wheelchair. After a short boat trip, more mobile visitors can visit the ticket office and curtain wall. The castle has steep steps inside and out.

Parking available about half a mile from the boat dock. Please allow 15 minutes from the carpark to walk to the boat dock. The last boat departs at 4.30pm in summer, and at 3.30 in October.

Contact Phone Number

07711 223101

Related Clans

Johnstone, MacLellan
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