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Cardoness Castle

Tower House

Site Name Cardoness Castle

Classification Tower House

Alternative Name(s) Cardonness Castle

Canmore ID 63632

Site Number NX55NE 11

NGR NX 59059 55274

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Anwoth
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Stewartry
  • Former County Kirkcudbrightshire

Archaeology Notes

NX55NE 11.00 59059 55274

(NX 5904 5527) Cardoness Castle (NR) (In ruins)

OS 6" map (1957).

NX55NE 11.01 NS 59101 55341 Cardoness Castle Cottage

Not to be confused with Cardoness (House), at NX 56643 53608, for which see NX55SE 8.00.


Massive, well built tower of 15th century, with interesting features.

Now in possession of Ministry of Works and Buildings (c.1975).

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Cardoness Castle, a 15th century tower, oblong on plan, measuring 43' by 32' over 8' thick walls. Though roofless, it is practically complete, being c 53' from the ground to wall-head, divided into 4 storeys and attics. There is a courtyard to the S with outbuildings.

Cardoness is thought to have come into the McCulloch family in 1450, which may well be the date of the present building, and it remained in their hands till 1697 when Sir Godfrey McCulloch was executed in Edinburgh for the murder of Gordon of Bush o'Bield. It then passed to the Gordons, and then the Maxwells, and is now maintained by the Ministry of Works.

RCAHMS 1914, visited 1911; V G Childe and W D Simpson 1954; N Tranter 1965.

Cardoness Castle, as described above; excellent condition.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 10 July 1970

(Site is Listed under Gatehouse of Fleet Burgh).

G Stell 1986.

Scheduled as Cardoness Castle.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 20 June 2002.

Architecture Notes


Excavation (18 February 2014 - 19 February 2014)

NX 5907 5530 (centred on) A minor excavation was undertaken, 18–19 February 2014, at Cardoness Castle. A total of five trenches were excavated flanking an access path, prior to the installation of handrails at five points on the SE side of the path. The path winds cNE–SW up a steep hill from the access gate to the summit of a hill, where it gives access to the tower and its subsidiary structures. The hand excavation of the trenches did not identify any finds or features of archaeological significance.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

David Murray - Kirkdale Archaeology

(Source: DES)


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