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Castle Fergus

Castle (Medieval)

Site Name Castle Fergus

Classification Castle (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Lochfergus; Stable Isle; Palace Isle

Canmore ID 64070

Site Number NX65SE 31

NGR NX 69803 50771

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/64070

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

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NX65SE 31 69803 50771.

(NX 69895107) Castle Fergus (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1938)

On the farm of Lochfergus - the name is mentioned in 1499/1500 (R Pitcairn 1883) - is a former loch which contained three islands. The northernmost is called Palace Isle and the southernmost is called Rough Isle or Stable Isle. The centre one appears to be un-named. Robison's (1926) reversal of the names is therefore erroneous.

Palace and Stable Isles "bear strong marks of ancient fortifications, and were unquestionably the seats or castle of Fergus, Lord of Galloway" (statistical Account [OSA] 1794); but the ONB, referring to Palace Isle, calls it the supposed site of Castle Fergus, and about 130 yards in diameter, divided into two isles by a trench east-west (Name Book 1850; J Ainslie 1820). The Commission (RCAHMS 1914) says that the site, which has long been regarded as the site of Castle Fergus, is a mound on Palace Isle. It is an oval, tree-covered hillock, 12-14ft in height and at the south end there are traces of a rampart c.4ft high, and an oblong building 45 x 18ft.

Only the Ordnance Survey Object Name Book (ONB) states that Stable Isle was fortified and covered with wood - and having in the centre of the ruins or site of a house about 25 x 16ft, probably the stable pertaining to Castle Fergus.

J Gillone 1"=1 mile map (1792); J Ainslie 1797; 1"=1 mile map (1820); New Statistical Account (NSA 1845, W Mackenzie)

Information from OS (W H Barnett) 31 December 1965

No further information could be gained on the site of Castle Fergus. There is no trace of a castle or buildings at the published site, and it is apparent that the remains on Stable Isle are those described erroneously by the RCAHMS as being on Palace Isle. The walls of the building are 1.0m wide and 0.3m high.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 4 February 1965.

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