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.