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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 918589

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


Bruce's Castle, now badly ruined, stands on a rocky eminence. The structure is now reduced to a barrel- vaulted ground floor, with part of a first-floor room, also once barrel-vaulted, rising at the NE corner to about a third of its original height. It is built of large sandstone rubble blocks. The N and E walls have been buttressed at some comparatively recent date on either side of the NE corner. The architectural character, and the solidity of the structure suggest a date in the first half of the 15th century for this castle. At that time, it was known as the Tower of Carnock, and formed part of the estates of Sir William de Erth of Plean. By 1480 it had passed by descent to Alexander Hepburn, and nine years later, due to a family quarrel, mention is made of the "wrangwis distructioun of his tour and place of Carnok and taking away of the irn zet (yett) of the sammyn".

In the early 16th century, the castle came into the possession of the Bruces of Auchenbowie, and in 1512 Robert Bruce obtained a licence to "erect and big his toure and fortalice of Carnok..." This licence cannot refer to the erection of the present castle which, as already stated, must be ascribed to the early 15th rather than 16th century. Presumably therefore the licence was obtained so that Bruce could restore his property, perhaps making good the damage of 1489. No traces of such a restoration remain, but no doubt the alterations were confined to the upper floors of the building, which have now disappeared.

In 1608 the castle was acquired by Alexander Drummond, who already owned Carnock House (NS88NE 2). It was presumably at about this time that the older building became known as Bruce's Castle, to distinguish the two. RCAHMS 1963, visited 1955

NS 857 878 This tower was probably built in the first half of the 15th century. All that now remains is the barrel-vaulted ground-floor and part of a first-floor room.

RCAHMS 1979, visited August 1978


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