Hessilhead Castle

Tower House

Site Name Hessilhead Castle

Classification Tower House

Alternative Name(s) Hasslehead; Hazelhead; Hesselheid

Canmore ID 42202

Site Number NS35SE 6

NGR NS 38013 53297

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Beith (cunninghame)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

38013 53297

Hessilhead Castle (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map (1911).

(NS 3801 5330) Hessilhead Castle (NR) (site of)

OS 6" map (1970).

Hessilhead Castle, now roofless and ruinous, is an oblong structure, built at two periods, measuring some 74 feet by 38 1/2 feet. The old (W) part was apparently a 15th-17th century keep; the E addition was build by Francis Montgomerie, who bought the estate in 1680. Both old and new parts are vaulted on the ground floor; the upper parts are too ruinous to describe. The mansion was allowed to become ruinous about 1776. It was noted by Pont as a strong old building, surrounded with large ditches and situated on a loch.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889.

Hessilhead Castle has been demolished. Extensive quarrying around the site has removed any possible traces of a moat. No building vestiges remain.

Visited by OS (DS), 28 August 1956.

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