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Tibbers Castle

Castle (Medieval), Motte And Bailey (Medieval)

Site Name Tibbers Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Motte And Bailey (Medieval)

Canmore ID 65153

Site Number NX89NE 2

NGR NX 8625 9821

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Penpont
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Nithsdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NX89NE 2 8625 9821.

(NX 8625 9821) Tibbers Castle (NR) (Remains of).

OS 6" map (1957)

Tibbers Castle was built in the mid 13th century, strengthened in the 1290's, and destroyed soon after (A E Truckell and J Williams 1967).

It occupies the earlier "Mote de Tibris", a partly artificial mound at the N end of a headland, separated by a partly artificial ravine. A conspicuous rampart and ditch drawn across this headland, forms it into a bailey, 200 x 300ft.

The roughly oblong castle measures 125 x 86ft within 7-9ft thick walls, now ruinous and under 12ft high, with circular towers at the angles Excavations were in progress at the castle in 1864; finds included two coins of Edward II. A quillon dagger, now in Dumfries Museum, from this site is datable to the first quarter of the 15th c.

J Williams 1970; J G Scott 1969; Dumfries Courier & Herald 10 June 1864

There is mention of burning in 1547 (A C Smith 1930), and the lands and barony "cum castro et lie castell-mote" were confirmed to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig in 1592.

RCAHMS 1920; R C Reid 1939

The ruins of Tibbers Castle (name verified) are situated on the top of a steep-sided tree-covered mound which is isolated at the end of a prominent flat topped ridge.

The remains are sub-rectangular, 36.0m NE-SW by 26.0m at the north-east end tapering to 20.0m with the foundations of circular towers (4.5m diameter over walling 1.0m thick) at each corner. The south-west wall is the best preserved being 2.2m thick and up to 2.0m high with an entrance gap 2.6m wide adjacent to the south tower. Several internal divisions are evident with tumbled walling 1.0m thick and up to 1.0m high. The well is in a good condition.

The rock-cut ditch to the south of the castle mound is 18.0m wide and up to 3.1m deep; a slight protrusion in the slope opposite the entrance may indicate the remains of a causeway.

The rampart and ditch across the headland, noted by the RCAHMS, is under plough and only the ditch is identifiable; where best preserved it is 16.0m wide and 0.7m deep.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (TRG) 16 December 1977.

Architecture Notes


Inventory to Buccleuch drawings (Drumlanrig) - typescript


Field Visit (February 2013 - October 2014)

This survey was carried out between 2013 and 2014 by RCAHMS as a Special Survey and the geophysical surveywith the help of grants from the Castle Studies Trust and Historic Scotland. It has also benefited from the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award to William Wyeth to study Early Stone Castles, 1050-1350 under the supervision of Professor Richard Oram of Stirling University and Dr Piers Dixon, RCAHMS. The survey team from RCAHMS included Heather Stoddart, Ali McCaig, Mari McKie, Iain Anderson, Ian Parker, Georgina Brown and Steve Wallace. The geophysical survey was carried out by Oliver O’Grady of OJTheritage under contract from RCAHMS.


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