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Barr Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Barr Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Canmore ID 42178

Site Number NS35NW 7

NGR NS 34680 58156

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Lochwinnoch
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS35NW 7 34680 58156

(NS 3468 5815) Barr Castle (NR)

(remains of) (NAT)

OS 1:10000 map (1980).


Scottish National Portrait Gallery

National Art Survey - 1 sheet.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Barr Castle, built in the early 16th century, is a simple rectangle on plan, measuring about 35 1/2ft E-W by 26ft transversely and rises to four storeys beneath the parapet with a garret above. There was a wing on the S side of this keep; it was extant until the 19th century. There was also a courtyard on the W of the keep (see plan and illustration) but hardly any trace of it now survives. The walls of coursed rubble, contain gunloops and arrow slits. A lintel at the foot of the stair is inscribed L H I C 1680, while on the battlements are W O 1699.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; N Tranter 1965.

The ruins seem to indicate two phases of building. The first is marked by the tower, 7.8m E-W and 10.7m N-S, which stands to the level of the corbelling of the four angle turrets, now gone, about 12.0m high. The ground storey consists of two vaults, the first storey a hall, and the others now too ruinous to identify. The tower has walls of roughly-coursed, square-faced masonry with dressed stone corner-quoins, and was pierced by small slits (now blocked) and round-headed openings. Contemporary with the tower was probably the 'bailey', a rectangular piece of raised ground N of the tower. No trace of any enclosing walling can be seen except for a large stone-possibly a gate pliiar-about 5.0m long and 1.0m square, lying on the ground at the N end of the 'bailey'. (cf Elliston Castle: NS35NE 1; Duchal Castle: NS36NW 8).

The second phase, probably in the late 17th century (see dates above), was one in which the tower was converted from defensive use into a larger residence, the provision of stone for which may explain the removal of the curtain wall. There is an extension to the tower on the W and the marks of a double eave on the S walls of the tower. Further alterations were by the insertion of square windows and doors, a square staircase in the internal NW corner, and a later chimney. Each of these is identifiable by the different mortar and fresh stone.

Visited by OS (WW), 24 July 1955.

Scheduled as 'Barr Castle... the remains of... a late medieval tower house...'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 11 February 2011.

Barr Castle

(remains of) [NAT]

OS (GIS) MasterMap, March 2011.


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