History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The castle is centred around a great hall, which features a large fireplace and a cupboard niche set into the wall where the family would have impressed their guests by displaying their best silverware. Next to the fireplace is a stone-lined niche for keeping salt dry. Look for 19th-century graffiti scratched into the wall.
The castle is built on a rectangular plan, and measures 43' x 32', with massive walls up to 8' thick. Despite the fact that the castle now stands roofless, it is not a ruin, but is essentially complete, standing 53' to the roofline. To one side are a courtyard and various outbuildings.
We do not know precisely when Cardoness Castle was built, but the McCulloch family gained ownership of the estate in 1450 so we may assume the castle was built around that time. The McCullochs might still own Cardoness if it were not for a crime attributed to Sir Godfrey McCulloch.
In 1697 Sir Godfrey was tried and convicted for the murder of Gordon of Bush o'Bield, and executed in Edinburgh. The castle passed to the Gordon family, and thence to another of the prominent families in the south west of Scotland, the Maxwells. Finally, Cardoness passed into government hands and is now cared for by Historic Environment Scotland.
Cardoness Castle really is a smashing place to visit; the castle oozes historic charm, and the location, despite the traffic noise that manages to sneak past the belt of trees around the castle knoll, is quite marvellous.
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About Cardoness Castle
Address: Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG7 2EH
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: Beside the A75, on the B727, 1 mile south west of Gatehouse of Fleet
Website: Cardoness Castle
Cardoness Castle Photos
OS: NX590 522
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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