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Killochan Castle

Country House (18th Century), Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Killochan Castle

Classification Country House (18th Century), Tower House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 40919

Site Number NS20SW 8

NGR NS 22724 00325

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Dailly
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS20SW 8 2272 0032.

(NS 2272 0032) Killochan Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1971)

Killochan Castle is one of the finest fortified houses in South Scotland; it is in excellent repair and occupied. Built in the late 16th century on a variant of the L-plan, the main block, of five storeys, lies E-W, with a slightly higher wing extending northwards at the E end. A lofty square stair-tower rises in the re-entrant angle, and a circular tower projects at the SE corner. The parapet on the S side is unusually high, and the eaves are unbroken by dormers. MacGibbon and Ross consider that this is a later alteration, but Tranter considers that the impression gained from this front and the circular tower is that the present house developed out of an earlier parapeted square keep, although the general belief is that the earlier Killochan stood a little way off, higher up the river. Tranter also notes the window in the W gable at first floor level, discovered during restoration work by the present proprietor. This feature, taken with the great thickness of the masonry, suggests an earlier date than 1586, quoted in an inscription over the entrance at the foot of the stair-tower: "This work was Begun the I of Marche 1586 be Ihone Cathcart. . . etc." Richardson (1939) also considers that this inscription refers to additions being made to Killochan Castle. A two-storeyed 18th century addition extends to the N.

N Tranter 1965; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887

Name 'Killochan Castle' confirmed (D R Somerville, owner).

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 16 November 1959

Killochan Castle, as described, is an outstanding example of a fortified house. No further information regarding its possible pre-16th century origin was obtained, but within the landscaped grounds there is no trace or local knowledge of a possible earlier structure.

Visited by OS (JRL) 16 May 1977

Architecture Notes

NS20SW 8.00 NS 22724 00325

NS20SW 32 NS 22712 00348 Stables

NS20SW 8.01 NS 22332 00166 Kennels

NS20SW 8.02 NS 22696 00497 Cottage


Owner: purchased by Major D. R. Somerville of Denbaie. Lockerbie. 17-6-54.

Architect: early 16th century (1586).

J. Murdoch. 1880. Adds & Alts.

" 1880. Carriage Entrance & Gate-lodge, new.


Photographic Survey (1955)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1955.

Aerial Photography (1 May 2007)


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