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The Gatehouse website record of

Dunfreise (Dumfries)

a location shown on a 1590 map of the West Marches of Scotland (The Aglionby Platt)

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; Maxwell's Castle

In the civil parish of Dumfries.
In the historic county of Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
Modern Authority of Dumfries And Galloway, Scotland.
1974 county of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NX97127629
Latitude 55.07042° Longitude -3.61260°

The given map reference is suggested as the probable location of Dunfreise shown on the Aglionby Platt.

There are no visible remains.

The likely form(s) of this building in 1590 are;

  • Other
    Tower House (baronial).

A section of the 1590 Aglionby Platt. Image reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

(NX 9712 7629) Site of Dumfries Castle (NR) OS 1:1056 map (1852)
The battlemented town house of the Maxwells at Dumfries, which was built about 1545, is often referred to as the second castle of Dumfries (cf NX97SE 2). It is said to have been 'of three storeys, with four large vaults in the basements, and a turnpike stair and bartizan covered with lead; and there were four or five acres of ground attached to it and walled in'. It was in need of repair when troops were garrisoned there in 1675, and in 1724 the New Church was built on the site. (J Barbour 1890; 1907)
Stone from the Greyfriars Friary (NX97NE 13) was alleged to have been used in the repair of Maxwell of Caerlaverock's 'castle' after 1570. (SBS Dumfries 1977; W McDowell 1867)
Four heraldic panels, reputed to have come from the 16th century town-house of the Maxwell family, which stood on the site of the modern Greyfriars Church, are built into rockeries in the garden of a villa, St Christopher's in St Mary Street. They were part of the collection of the late James Barbour. (RCAHMS 1920, visited 1915)
A collection of very ancient clay pipe-heads found while excavating Site of Greyfriars's church (1868) on site of Dumfries Castle. Supposed to have been smoked by soldiers of garrison of that castle about 300 years ago. Some material in the head of one was analysed and found to be a sort of lint, so evidently it had been before Sir W. Raleigh introduced the Weed. (R Gibson, Antiquarian, Dumfries) (J Williams 1975) (Canmore 65538)

(NX 9775 7467) Castle(NR) (site of) OS 6" map (1970)
A royal castle was established on the motte at Castledykes. It was rebuilt in stone in the 1260's and during the Edwardian occupation, a great ditch was dug around the castle, which was also encircled by a wooden paling. There is a strong belief that this castle was destroyed after its capture by Bruce in 1313 and was not rebuilt. (SBS Dumfries 1977)
The RCAHMS state that it is not now possible to determine the layout of the castle due to landscaping, but describe the oblong mound SE of Castledykes mansion as the remains of a motte, where remains of a ditch and rampart may be seen round its E and S sides; the associated bailey probably extended W towards the river. Small scale excavations here in 1953 revealed traces of walling, just SW of, and also N of the flagstaff (see NX97SE 2.1.) Some 20 pieces of pottery, mainly 13th / 14th century in date, were recovered and are now in Dumfries Museum.
(This castle is erroneously named "Comyn's Castle" on earlier editions of the OS maps.) (RCAHMS 1920), visited 1915; A E Truckell 1955; A E Truckell and J Williams 1967; J Williams 1968. (Canmore 65688)

The 1590 map probably shows the town, which was not walled, rather than the defunct royal castle south of the town at Castledykes. However the large tower house of the Maxwells was a significant fortified building and the map may be referring to this.
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This record created on 02/08/2015 09:03:09; This record last updated on 22/09/2015 09:16:11

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