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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 795725

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NS88SW 3 83590 84368

(NS 83590 84368) Torwood Castle (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map (1967)

Torwood Castle appears to have been built in 1566, the date carved on a stone panel found about 1918 in a stone dyke some 200 yds NW of the building, and now in Falkirk Museum. It is L-shaped on plan.

The main building is roofless, but is of particular interest in view of its evident transitional character between castle and mansion; it comprises a vaulted ground floor, a principal floor and an attic. The wing, a square tower with gables at N and S, contains the main stair. The cobbled courtyard was evidently enclosed by three ranges of building, but much of the structure has now vanished.

S of the castle there are traces of what was probably a large kitchen-garden, with some remains of stone foundations, as of a small enclosure, within its W side.

In the Middle Ages the Tor Wood was an area of Royal forest, the office of forester being held from the second half of the 15th century until the mid-17th century by the Foresters of Garden.

RCAHMS 1963, visited 1955

A number of structural features - gateway, door and window openings were uncovered in 1958 by Mr Millar of Torwood, who replaced fallen stones, where they could be identified. Small finds, mainly very late medieval pottery, included a key from an internal door.

D M Hunter 1958.

The castle is as described and planned by the RCAHMS There are several scatters of stone to the S of the castle, but no trace of enclosures. Revised at 25".

Visited by OS (DWR) 22 January 1974

Possible 17th century garden.

N Hynd 1984.

NS 8359 8436 Two rooms in the N range of courtyard buildings of the castle (NMRS NS88SW 3) were excavated down to the levels of the latest floor make-up. The make-up formed part of the extensive terracing of this part of the site. The courtyard was entered through a neatly cobbled pend in the centre of the wing. Room 1 lay to the E of this. In its initial phase Room 1 had an oven of brick construction in its NW corner, surrounded by a paved floor. An internal N-S wooden partition had divided the room in two. This partition was subsequently rebuilt in stone, and the oven moved to its E. Mortar floors covered the earlier stone paving.

Room 2 contained a rock-cut well with an arched head. Once into bedrock the shaft expanded to 1.8 x 2.2m. A turner of 1632 was found in the floor make-up associated with the well-head. A stone trough or drain occurred in the SE corner of the room. The S wall of the room was located further S than depicted on earlier plans.

Sponsors: Falkirk Local History Society, Torwood Castle Trust.

G Bailey 1999

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