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The Gatehouse website record of

Torthorol cast (Torthorwald Castle)

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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; Torthorrell Cast.

In the civil parish of Torthorwald.
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: NY03287825
Latitude 55.08921° Longitude -3.51686°

This is certain as the location of Torthorol cast shown on the Aglionby Platt.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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

  • Masonry Castle.

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

Torthorwald Castle, probably late 14th century in date, is a mere shell, about 60 ft high. Parts of the remains are buttressed and repaired with modern building. The tower stood on the line of a curtain walls forming an enceinte and surrounded by outworks. On the W and NW these outworks have disappeared under cultivation, but the remaining portions are relatively complete.
Ground configuration suggests that there has been a circular tower at the SW extremity of the enceinte. On the N, the enceinte is protected by a broad ditch, 15 ft to 20 ft deep, and an outer rampart. There is a lesser ditch on the E and S. Beyond this on the E is an irregularly shaped enclosure flanked by a ditch through which flows a burn, apparently once spanned by a bridge. Still further E is another rampart running N then W to meet the inner scarp of the dry ditch. (RCAHMS 1920, visited 1919)
Torthorwald Castle is generally as described by the RCAHMS. To the NE of the castle and adjoining the interior of the curtain wall are the grassed-over footings of a building. A small part of the extreme NE of the outworks at NY 0333 7829 have been destroyed and built upon. Revised at 25". Visited by OS (RDL) 10 December 1963
The castle earthworks seem to suggest a motte-type structure of 12th century date. Certainly the de Torthorwalds were in occupation before the end of the 13th century, when the estate passed to the Kirkpatricks by marriage. The existing stone castle of is late 14th - early 15th century date, probably mainly the work of William de Carleil who married the Kirkpatrick heiress in 1418. Occupation continued till 1715. Fragments of medieval pottery, in Dumfries Museum, were found in 1966, 1968 and 1974; on the latter date, animal teeth and lead were also found.
All fragments found up to the present have come from a trapezoidal enclosure, to the S of the castle, which shows on aerial photographs of the site. This enclosure was interpreted in 1974 as the bailey associated with the motte. (A E Truckell and J Williams 1967; J Williams 1968; A E Truckell 1974) (Canmore)
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This record created on 21/07/2015 08:47:15; This record last updated on 17/09/2015 10:42:06

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