Cardoness Castle
Cardoness Castle
Cardoness Castle is a striking six-storey tower house dating to the 15th century. It stands beside the busy A75, seemingly immune to the traffic scurrying by below its hillside perch, looking south over Fleet Bay and Solway Firth. The castle was built by the McCulloch family and is a wonderful example of the type of tower house so favoured by nobility throughout Scotland at this period.

The castle is centred around a great hall, which features a wonderful fireplace and a cupboard niche set into the wall where the family would have impressed their guests by displaying their best silverware. 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 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 Scotland.

It really is a smashing place to visit; it 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.