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Brigend Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Brigend Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Doonside Castle

Canmore ID 41592

Site Number NS31NW 13

NGR NS 33384 17683

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NS31NW 13 33384 17683.

(NS 3338 1768) Brigend Castle (NR)

OS 1:10000 map (1981)

This building is called "Bridgend" by Abercrummie, who lists it as one of the dwellings of the gentry. Ruinous by 1837, it is called "Bridgend or Doonside" in the NSA, while the ONB, referring to "Doonside Castle" states that the whole building has long since disappeared except a portion of what appears to have been a square tower, the walls of which are about 10ft. high. It does not appear to have been a place of great strength, though it is now impossible to assess its original size. Nothing is known of the date of its erection (Name Book 1856). (By 1910, the OS published name was changed to "Brigend Castle", but as the relevant Revision ONB was destroyed by enemy action in the 1939-45 war, the authority for the change of name is not now known).

Paterson considers that the original name was Nether Auchindraine, and changed to Bridgend after the Old Bridge of Doon was built.

W Macfarlane 1907; NSA 1845 (G Gray); J Paterson 1852

At this site are the remains of a rectangular tower, 5.0m. x 6.0m. built of mortared rubble masonry. The vaulted ground floor is intact; above this the walls are mostly ruinous, only the N wall standing some 8.0m high. Immediately to the S the ground contains a confused mass of masonry; it is not possible to say whether this represents the fallen S wall or foundations and remains of other buildings. A wall extends S for some 2.0m from the SW corner of the tower.

These remains stand on a high crag overlooking the River Doon to the N and a small stream to the W.

Visited by OS (JFC) 2 January 1956

Brigend Castle; name verified. The remains, in an overgrown and neglected condition, are otherwise stable. It measures overall 6.5m N-S by 6.0m E-W with an average wall thickness of 0.8m.

Visited by OS (JRL) 2 October 1980


Field Visit (April 1985)

Bridgend NS 3338 1768 NS31NW 13

The remains of a tower-house, probably of late 16th-century date, are situated at the head of a small promontory overlooking the River Doan 230m E of Doonside. The surviving fragment comprises a barrel-vaulted cellar (4. 75m by 5.6m with in walls 0.8m thick) and a portion of the first-floor hall, the NNE wall of the latter incorporates a modified window opening, a fireplace and a press. On the SSW, the original extent of the block (about 15m overall) is represented by what may be a robber trench; stone footings along the edge of the escarpment on the E may indicate the position of an adjoining wing

or a range.

RCAHMS 1985, visited (IMS) April 1985.

(NSA, v, Ayr, 365; Peterson 1863-6, ii, 393-4; Macfarlane 1906-8, ii, 19).


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