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Craigie Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Craigie Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Canmore ID 42868

Site Number NS43SW 3

NGR NS 40848 31699

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NS43SW 3 40848 31699

(NS 4087 3169) Craigie Castle (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1969).

The ruins of Craigie Castle stand on a grassy knoll which appears to have been surrounded by a ditch. It evidently dates from the 15th century, though it is not all of the same period. A wide-splayed shot hole near the entrance passage is probably of 16th century date. The keep, along with another extended building (total size of the block: 98ft N-S by 36ft) has divided the castle into two halves, with an E and W courtyard (see plan in D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889). Craigie was the fee of Walter Hose, under Walter Stewart (about 1136-77), and evidently of his father, whose name is not known, before him. (G W S Barrow 1973). The castle, shown extant about 1300 (J D Galbraith 1975) was allowed to fall into ruins after 1600.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889; G W S Barrow 1973; J D Galbraith 1975.

Craigie Castle is now very ruined. The moat is still evident on all sides except the E.

Visited by OS (JLD) 3 June 1954.

Only the N and S walls of the central tower remain in a stable condition, otherwise, the few extant sections of courtyard wall are overgrown and confused by collapsed masonry. From photograph evidence (OS Field Surveyer JLD 1954), there has obviously been a major collapse of the southern courtyard wall in the past thirty years.

There is no suggestion of a complete ditch or moat circuit around the castle. A roughly 100m length of ditch, approximately 10m wide and 1.5m deep, runs along the line of the S courtyard wall, and an isolated 40m length of ditch, of similar proportions, lies to the NW. Both ditches fade at low, marshy ground on the W side.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JRL) 21 June 1982.

The remains of Craigie Castle stand on a low ridge in open ground 180m ESE of Craigie Mains farmsteading. The earliest substantial portion of the castle consists of a hall-house of late 12th-or 13th-century date (7.17m wide by at least 14.5m long within walls 1.74m thick), which appears itself to incorporate the remains of an earlier building. On the NNE, a wall (0.77m thick and 3.9m high) may have formed part of an original courtyard. During the 15th century the hall-house was raised in height (immuring the parapet walk and its crenellations) to accommodate a new and more spacious first-floor hall and at least one other storey. The hall was divided into three bays by a ribbed vault springing from sculptured corbels; high-level windows were set in deeply splayed and stepped openings with chamfered rear-arches, and a fireplace was subsequently inserted at the WNW end of the SSW wall. Courtyards were extended on the SSW and NNE. The ridge is cut by two massive ditches (up to 14.5m broad and 1.5m deep) on the SSW and NNE sides of the castle respectively, their ends connecting with what were probably two lochans. At the WNW end of the SSW ditch there are the remains of what may be a drawbridge abutment.

A third ditch (134m long, 13.5m broad and up to 1.8m deep) cuts the ridge 117m NE of the castle to form an outer bailey. An armorial plaque impaled with the arms of the Wallaces and Lindseys is set in the wall of the steading (NS 4 062 3174). About 1155-60 Craigie may have been the fief of Walter Hose.

NSA 1845; J Paterson 1863-6; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92; G Chalmers 1887-1902; J Smith 1895; W J Dillon 1954; G W S Barrow 1973; S Cruden 1981; RCAHMS 1985, visited 1985.

Architecture Notes

Photographed on behalf of the Buildings of Scotland series (2009).


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