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Cruggleton Castle

Castle, Motte, Settlement, Tower House

Site Name Cruggleton Castle

Classification Castle, Motte, Settlement, Tower House

Canmore ID 63254

Site Number NX44SE 4

NGR NX 48427 42816

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Sorbie
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Wigtown
  • Former County Wigtownshire

Archaeology Notes

NX44SE 4 48427 42816

(NX 4842 4281) Cruggleton Castle (NR)

(Remains of)

OS 6" map (1957)

Cruggleton Castle occupies a very strong site on a promontory bounded by cliffs. To the W, landward, side a semi-circular ditch 36' wide by 7' deep - and an earthen bank, according to Radford, running between the cliff edges, encloses a level bailey. Truckell states that the motte structure, of 12th century date, was followed by a castle c 1260, strengthened in the 1280s, and thereafter occupied until at least the late 16th century. The castle was built on a rock, rising 30' above the surrounding ground, the summit defended by a wall enclosing an area 85' E-W by 80' N-S. The only portion of the building remaining is some 6' of barrel-vaulted apartment running N-S, at the S end of the site. To the N of the enclosure, there appears to have been a building, 20' square, with another building, c 23' x 25' to the NW.

Cruggleton Castle, the residence of the Lords of Galloway, is said to have at least 8 towers. Symson, writing in 1684 (W Macfarlane 1907), describes the castle as "wholly demolished and ruinous."

W Macfarlane 1907; RCAHMS 1912, visited 1912; C A R Radford 1951; A E Truckell and J Williams 1967.

The remains of a motte and bailey, followed by a stone castle. The bailey measures internally 172,0m NE-SW by 72.5m NW-SE. The entrance is by a causeway 4.0m wide across the ditch in the SW. The motte, standing in the SE corner of the bailey, measures 31.0m E-W by 29.0m N-S and stands to a height of 4.5m. Probably no original features remain, two small rectangular scoops on the N slope of the motte being structures associated with the castle, which is as described.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 26 January 1973

Excavation has revealed the following sequence:

Phase 1 (1st c AD) timber built round house.

Phase 2 (mid 8th-late 12C) small timber built hall with palisade.

Phase 3 (late 12th-2nd half 13thC) timber built hall and tower upon motte.

Phase 4 (late 13th-2nd half 15thC) stone curtain wall, tower and mural structures.

Phase 5 (2nd half 15th-early 17thC) tower house, curtain wall and mural structures.

Phase 6 (early-mid 17thC) tower house, curtain wall and extended mural structures.

G Ewart 1985.


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