Stranraer, George Street, Castle Of Saint John
Site Name Stranraer, George Street, Castle Of Saint John
Alternative Name(s) Stranraer Castle; Castle Prison; The Chapel; Castle Kennedy
Canmore ID 60751
Site Number NX06SE 11
NGR NX 06090 60821
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
- Council Dumfries And Galloway
- Parish Stranraer
- Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
- Former District Wigtown
- Former County Wigtownshire
NX06SE 11 06090 60821
(NX 0609 6082) Castle Prison (NR)
OS 1:1056 map (1849)
Castle (Rems. of) (NR)
OS 25" map (1894)
See also NX06SE 25.
Stranraer Castle, also known as The Chapel and Castle Kennedy, has been a good example of a 16thc L-plan keep; it measures 35 feet by 28 feet - the longer axis being east-west and has a projection of 4ft 9ins, northwards from the north wall at the north-west corner, and this projection is 11ft 9ins wide. In the 17th c the castle was heightened and structurally altered to fit it for use as the town gaol.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; RCAHMS 1912.
This building is generally as described. It is topped by a small cap house and belfry with parapet walk. The remains are in a fair state of repair and the building is used by Stranraer Town Council for various purposes.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 8 February 1963
(Excavation and consolidation work reported by Tabraham and Lewis).
C Tabraham and J Lewis 1979
Three areas were excavated prior to the refurbishment of the castle into a Heritage centre. In the main hall a small inner chamber at the rear of the fireplace was cleared of about 90cm of earth and bird droppings to reveal two stone steps. The wooden floor in front of the chamber was removed and after clearing about 30cm of debris and a modern cement step the original stone slabbing was revealed.
In the main hall a small section (71 by 51cm) of flooring from the centre of the room was cleared and the area below excavated. Pieces of oyster shell and a bird bone were recovered.
In the ground floor entrance area a section (116 by 170cm) was excavated to reveal at a depth of 21cm a floor level and a section of a drainage channel. No finds were recorded.
Excavation record and photographs held in Stranraer Museum.
Sponsor: Wigtown District Council.
E Ritchie 1989.
Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC28785- DC28793. 1980 & 1982.
Scottish Records Office
Stranraer Proposed conversion of Stranraer Castle to a prinson. Robert Wallace, architect c. 1790-1874 criticises plans he has been sent and describes his own plans for the conversion. The letter accompanied these plans sent to William Leggat.
1820 GD 135/Box 61/26/2
Conversion of the Castle into a Goal [Gaol].
Minutes of Meetings of Commissioners of Supply, Payments, Accounts and receipts.
Contractor: Kenneth Mathieson
1819-1822 GD 135/Box 61/26/1-14
(Undated) information in NMRS.