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Torthorwald Castle

Ruined 14th century castle sacked in 1544 and occupied until about 1715


Torthorwald Castle is a large ruined rectangular tower at the center of the village of Torthorwald just outside Dumfries.

The first castle on the site was probably an earthwork motte-and-bailey built sometime in the 12th century. The earliest building which forms part of the current ruins was built in the 14th century.

Torthorwald Castle was originally owned by Sir David Torthorwald in the 13th Century. The castle served as a stronghold for the Kirkpatrick and Carlyle families. It was first handed to the Kirkpatricks and then in 1418 to the Carlyles. In 1544 it was attacked by Lord Carlyle and sacked, in a raid against his sister-in-law - things were different then. In 1609 the castle passed by marriage to the Douglases of Parkhead.

The basement and first floor hall of this tower are vaulted and in one corner is a turnpike stair that leads to the upper floors. It appears that the original entrance was on the first floor.

The castle sits beside the road and is accessible to walk up visitors. 

Opening Times

Accessible from the road (see map below). Take care of masonry and loose structure.

Related Clans

Douglas, Carlyle, Kirkpatrick
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