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Knockdolian Castle

Tower House (16th Century)

Site Name Knockdolian Castle

Classification Tower House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 61994

Site Number NX18NW 8

NGR NX 12287 85380

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NX18NW 8 1228 8538

(NX 122 854) Rampart (NR)

OS 6" map (1909).

(NX 1228 8538) Knockdolian Castle (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map (1958).

See also NX18NW 21 and NX18NW 60.

Knockdolian Castle is a small 16th century pele-tower with no special features except that a stone carved with an ancient memorial cross has been used as one of the sills.

Abercrummie 1688; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889.

Though no longer habitable, the castle, which rises four storeys to a parapet and walk with a garret storey above, is in a fair state of repair. The walls are of mortared rubble with ashlar quoins, and there has been a courtyard to the north and west. The 'Rampart' is a series of earthworks connected with ornamental gardening, possibly dating from the mid 17th century. Christison mistakenly thought they were the remains of a rectangular fort.

Visited by OS (JLD), 24 July 1956.

No change to previous information.

Visited by OS (BS) 8 January 1976.

It belonged first to the Grahames but by the mid 17th century when reconstruction took place it was in the hands of the McCubbins.

D Christison 1893; N Tranter 1970.

Architecture Notes


Architect: David Rhind built 1842.

Architects: Allan Stevenson & Cassells. 1937. Knockdolian Estate, Dam across Knockdhu Burn.

Plans: at Darley Hay Partnership, Ayr.



A description of alterations made to Knockdolian.

John Colledge describes his visit in a letter to Mrs Jane Martin in London.

1889 GD 180/712

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Field Visit (July 1981)

Knockdolian Castle NX 122 853 NX18NW 8

This oblong tower-house appears to have been extensively repaired in the mid 17th century, when the garden earthworks to the NW may have been laid out.

RCAHMS 1981, visited July 1981

(Paterson 1863-6, ii, 131-2, 160-1; MacGibbon and Ross 1887-92, iii, 387-8; Tranter, 1962-70, v, 216-17)


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