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Polnoon Castle

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Polnoon Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Canmore ID 43963

Site Number NS55SE 6

NGR NS 5850 5132

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Renfrewshire
  • Parish Eaglesham
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Eastwood
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS55SE 6 5850 5132.

(NS 5850 5132) Polnoon Castle (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1970)

Though a considerable part of Polnoon Castle was still standing within the memory of people living in the late 19th century, by that time all that remained were the grass covered foundations and scattered lumps of masonry. It was built in a strong position, on top of a steep, conical mound by Sir John Montgomery using the ransom money obtained for Henry Percy, his prisoner after the Battle of Otterburn (1388) (Crawford and Semple 1782). An armorial panel, taken from the above entrance to the castle, is now placed above the door of the Cross Keys, the chief inn in Eaglesham (Thomson 1903).

G Crawford and W Semple 1782; New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

At this point an irregular mound is surmounted by tumbled blocks of masonry, in a wood. On the west, the ground falls steeply to the Polnoon Water. There is no sign of a bailey or outworks on the east. The chaotic condition of the masonry precludes any attempt at a plan.

Visited by OS (W W) 21 July 1955.

Generally as described above. At the north west corner of the mound is the angle of what must have been a massive wall. Elsewhere, short stretches of walling are evident and massive blocks of fallen masonry lie on and around the site. At the base of the slopes at the south east end is a stretch of walling 1.6m thick, possibly part of a courtyard wall.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (W D J) 9 December 1964.

A survey of the remains of this late 14th century castle, refurbished for occupation in 1617, but in ruins by 1676. The motte, on a promontory, is rectangular, 30 by 22m base, 18 by 10m top, at least 4m high. It appears to have been built for an earlier castle, as the later structure encased the mound. Traces of a ditch lie across the promontory on the E, The range on the south extends E of the enclosure, and was possibly the main entry, but shows signs of post-medieval use, possibly as a free-standing dwelling. There are traces of a battered plinth along the south wall. The NW corner of the tower, and the north range rise from bedrock 3m below the base of the motte.

T C Welsh 1983.

for further details see MS/1508

As part of a study of early castles in Renfrewshire a contour survey of the extremely ruinous remains of this castle and its immediate surroundings was carried out, at the scale 1:200.

Sponsor: Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

D Alexander 1994a.

This motte and later castle are situated in a stand of trees 80m NW of Polnoon farmsteading, on the edge of the steep, E bank of the Polnoon Water. Both are generally as previously described by the OS, but the present overgrown and ruinous condition of the site prevents any more detailed description being made.

Visited by RCAHMS (PMCK) 18 July 2007.


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