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Dumfries House, Ward Of Lochnorris

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Dumfries House, Ward Of Lochnorris

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Dumfries House Policies; Tower Of Leifnorris; Leifnorris Castle

Canmore ID 43636

Site Number NS52SW 7

NGR NS 53908 20515

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Ayrshire
  • Parish Old Cumnock
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cumnock And Doon Valley
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS52SW 7 53908 20515

(NS 5390 2051) Ward of Lochnorris (NR) (site of)

OS 25" map (1969).

For (successor and present) Dumfries House (NS 5414 2037) and associated buildings, see NS52SW 12.00.

There were three castles in Cumnock parish. The chief of these was Lefnoreis, which stood near the Lugar Water, about 100 yds W of Dumfries House. No part of it now remains above ground. In 1897, Lord Bute made extensive excavations on the site and exposed part of the old walls and a causeway of water-worn stones. The ruins indicate a fortress of considerable strength. Its early owners, and in all probability its builders, were the Crawfurds, first mentioned in 1440. It is not known when it became ruinous, though it is not likely to have remained habitable till Dumfries House was built, about 1757.

Though the popular spelling of the name is 'Lochnorris', in old documents it is referred to as the Ward or Tower of Lefnoreis (sometimes Leifnoreis).

J Warrick 1899

Ward of Lochnorris: name verified. There is no surface trace of the castle in the vicinity of the published site, which falls on a natural rise within Estate woodland. No corroborative siting information was available from the factor (Estate office, Dumfries House Mains), and nothing is known of the former Lord Bute's excavations. Any records pertaining to these excavations are possibly held by the Estate archivist at Rothesay (Miss C Armet).

Visited by OS (JRL) 18 October 1981.


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