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Publication Account

Date 1978

Event ID 1018011

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The castle of Rothesay is first mentioned in 1230 when it withstood a siege by Norsemen. The walls were reputedly so soft that they could be hewn by axes (Simpson, 1972, 1). It did not play a prominent role in the Wars of Independence, but was a favourite residence of Kings Robert II and Robert M. James IV and his son, James V both stayed in the castle as well. The main portion of the castle dating from the thirteenth century consists of a great circular curtain wall with four massive round sandstone towers. The entrance is on the north front and leads through the great donjon erected in the early sixteenth century (Simpson, 1972, 2). The courtyard is about 140 feet (42.67m) in diameter and the walls are eight feet (2.44m) thick (MacDonald, 1886, 181). The chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, though in a ruinous condition, is the only building now within the courtyard. Until the end of the last century the ground between the outside wall and the ruin was taken up with houses, shops, gardens and the like.

Information from ‘Historic Rothesay: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1978).

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