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Places to go in Dumfries and Galloway

Barsalloch Fort
One the edge of a promontory above Barsalloch Point, three quarters of a mile west of Monreith, 82 NX 347 412
An Iron Age hill fort, defended by a deep ditch in horse-shoe form.
Caerlaverock Castle
8m SE of Dumfries on the B725.
Tel: 01387 770244

One of the finest castles in Scotland on a triangular site surrounded by moats. Its most remarkable features are the twin-towered gatehouse and the Nithsdale Lodging, a splendid Renaissance range dating from 1638. The ancient home of the Maxwells, this 15th-century four-storey tower house stands on a rocky platform above the Water of Fleet. The fireplaces in the great and upper halls are particularly fine. Children's park and modern siege engine in front of castle and nature trail to the old castle.

Caerlaverock Castle

Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns
Six and a half miles south east of Creetown, 83 NX 518 540
Two remarkably complete Neolithic burial cairns, of a type characteristic of Galloway, situated on a hill giving good views over Wigtown Bay.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton
Cairnholy Chambered Cairn I , near Gatehouse of Fleet.
Cardoness Castle
1m SW of Gatehouse of Fleet on the A75, 83 NX 590 552
Tel: 01557 814427

The well-preserved ruin of a tower house of 15th century date, the ancient home of the McCullochs. The architectural details inside the tower are of a very high quality and the battlements give good views over Fleet Bay.
Winter: open weekends only

Cardoness Castle

Carsluith Castle
Three and a half miles south of Creetown, 83 NX 494 541
The delightful and well-preserved ruin of a tower house of 16th century date, with 18th century ranges of outhouses, still in use by the farmer, reminding the visitor that such houses were originally linked to outbuildings. One of its owners was the last abbot of Sweetheart Abbey.
Photograph by Duncan Felton
Carsluith Castle
Chapel Finian
Five miles north west of Port William, 82 NX 278 489
The foundation remains of a small chapel in an enclosure, probably built as a pilgrimage church c 1000 AD.
Druchtag Motte
At Mochrum village.
A fine example of a motte castle, in a part of Scotland where this type of early timber castle proliferated in the 12th and 13th centuries
Drumcoltran Tower
Seven miles north east of Dalbeattie, among farm buildings, 84 NX 869 682
A well-preserved tower of mid-16th century date, simply planned and built.
Drumtroddan Cup and Ring Marked Rocks
Two miles north east of Port William, 73 NX 362 447
Three groups of well-defined cup and ring marks on bedrock, probably carved in the Bronze Age.
Drumtroddan Standing Stones
400 yards south of the cup and ring marked stones, 83 NX 364 443
An alignement of three stones, one of which has fallen.
Dundrennan Abbey
6.5m SE of Kirkcudbright on the A711, 84 NX 749 475
Tel: 01557 500262

Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night on Scottish soil in May 1568 in this Cistercian abbey founded by in 1142 by David I. The Abbey, built in the second half of the 12th century, stands in a small and secluded valley. The east end of the church and the chapter house are of exceptional architectural quality. The remoteness is in keeping with the strict rules and observance of the Cistercian order.
Open all Summer and at weekends on winter.

Dundrennan Abbey

Glenluce Abbey
2m NW of Glenluce village off the A75, 82 NX 185 586
Tel: 01581 300541.

Founded by Roland, Earl of Galloway in 1192, the ruins of this Cistercian abbey occupy a site of great natural beauty. The remains, including a handsome early-16th century chapter house, are set in a lovely tranquil valley. It was visited by Robert the Bruce and James IV. Mary Queen of Scots stayed here during a royal progress. An exhibition of objects found at the abbey is on display at the site.
Winter: open weekends only

Glenluce Abbey

Kirkmadrine Early Christian Stones
In the Rhinnes of Galloway, two miles south west of Sandhead, 82 NX 080 483
Three of the earliest Christian memorial stones in Britain, dating from the 5th century or early 6th century, displayed in a porch of a former chapel.
Laggangairn Standing Stones
At Killgallioch, New Luce on the Southern Upland Way, 82 NX 222 716
Two stones carved with early Christian crosses. Difficult access signposted through Forrestry Commission land.
Lincluden Collegiate Church
On the western outskirts of Dumfries in Abbey Lane
The rich remains of a collegiate church and the accommodation for its canons, founded in 1389 by Archibald the Grim, 3rd Earl of Douglas (see Threave Castle). The splendid chancel was probably added by his son, Archibald, the 4th Earl, and houses the exquisite monumental tomb of his wife, Princess Margaret, daughter of Robert III.

Photographs by Duncan Felton

Lincluden Collegiate Church

Tomb of Margaret III

Lochmaden Castle
On the shore of Lochmaden Loch, 78 NY 088 811
The much reduced remains of a royal castle, originally built by the English in the 14th century but extensively rebuilt during the reign of James IV (1488-1513). Largely dismantled after its capture by James VI in 1588. View exterior only. The extensive remains of earthworks, including a rectangular 'peel' (timber palisaded enclosure) built by Edward I of England, are visable around the masonry castle.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton
Lochmaben Castle
MacLellan's Castle
In Kirkcudbright on the A711.
Tel: 01557 331856

Built in 1577 using stone from an adjoining ruined monastery by the then Provost, Sir Thomas MacLellan but probably never finshed, this castellated town house has fine architectural details.
Open Summer only.

MacLellan's Castle

Merkland Cross
At Merkland Smithy, near Ecclefechan, 85 NY 250 721
A fine carved wayside cross, of 15th century date.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Morton Castle
Majestically situated on a promontory overlooking Morton Loch, 78 NX 891 992
A fine late-13th century hall house, a stronghold of the Douglases. View from outside only.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton
Morton Castle. 14th C.
New Abbey Corn Mill
8m S of Dumfries on the A710.
Tel: 01387 850260

This carefully renovated 18th-century water-powered oatmeal mill is in full working order and regular demonstrations are given for visitors in the summer.
Closed Thursday afternoon and Friday in winter.

New Abbey Corn Mill

Orchardton Tower
Six miles south east of Castle Douglas, 84 NX 817 551
A charming house of mid-15th century date. It is uniquely, circular in plan.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Orchardton Tower. Unusual circular tower built in middle of 15th C by John Cairns.
Rispain Camp
One mile west of Whithorn, behind Rispain Farm, 83 NX 429 399
A rectangular settlement defended by a bank and ditch. It dates from the 1st or 2nd century AD.
Ruthwell Cross
At Ruthwell, eight and a half miles south east of Dumfries, sited within the parish church.
This Anglian Cross, sculptured in high relief, dated from the end of the 7th century AD, and is considered one of the major monuments of Dark Age Europe.

Photograph by Duncan Felton

Ruthwell Cross.  Key of church obtainable at nearby cottage
St Ninian's Cave
Physgill, on the coast four miles south west of Whithorn, 83 NX 421 359.
Traditionally associated with the saint. Early crosses found here are housed at Whithorn Museum. Crosses carved on the walls of the cave are now weathered.
St Ninian's Chapel
At Isle of Whithorn.
Restored ruins of a 13th century chapel, probably used by pilgrims on their way to Whithorn.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

St. Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn
Sweetheart Abbey
In New Abbey village on the A710 seven miles south of Dumfries
Tel: 01387 850397.

The splendid remains of a late 13th and early 14th-century Cistercian abbey founded by Devorgilla, Lady of Galloway, in memory of her husband John Baliol. Devorgilla is buried in the presbytery with a casket containing her husband's embalmed heart.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Sweetheart Abbey

Threave Castle
3m W of Castle Douglas on the A75, 84 NX 739 623
Tel: 0831 168512

This massive tower, situated on an island in the River Dee, was built by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway, in the late 14th-century and was later the stronghold of the Black Douglases. Round its base is an artillery fortification built before 1455, when the castle was besieged by James II. Ring the bell and the custodian will come to ferry you over.
Winter: closed.

Second photograph by Duncan Fenton

Threave Castle

Threave Castle.

Torhouse Stone Circle
Four miles west of Wigtown, 83 NX 382 565.
A Bronze Age recimbent circle of 19 boulders on the edge of a low mound. This type of stone circle is most commonly found in north-east Scotland.
Wanlockhead Beam Engine
In Wanlockhead village.
An early 19th century wooden water-balance pump for draining a lead mine, with the track of a horse engine beside it. Nearby is the privately-operated museum of Scottish lead mining.
Whithorn Priory and Museum
At Whithorn on the A746.
Tel: 01988 500508

The site of the first Christian church in Scotland founded by St Ninian in the 5th-century it later became the cathedral church of Galloway. In the museum is a fine collection of early Christian stones. The archaeological excavation is open to visitors.
Open Easter to October 10.30am to 5.00pm

Whithorn Priory and Museum

Barholm Castle
5 miles south-west of Gatehouse of Fleet  NX 521529
16th C  tower house

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Barholm Castle
Dunskey Castle
1 mile south-east of Portpatrick  NX 004534
16th C tower house.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Dunskey Castle
Old Castle of St. John
Stranraer, near A77  NX 061608
16th C tower house.  Once used as a jail, now a museum.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Old Castle of St. John

Repentance Tower
5 miles north-west of Annan, south of B725  NY 155723
16th C tower house, has 'REPENTANCE' carved on the door lintel,
reputedly by Lord Herries, who demolished a chapel to build nearby Hoddom Castle.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Repentance Tower

Sanquhar Castle
Just outside Sanquhar, south of A76  NS 786092
13th C keep & outbuildings.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Sanquhar Castle

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