Orchardton Tower, Kirkcudbright

#8 of 19 in Things to do in Kirkcudbright
Orchardton Tower, is a ruined tower house in Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfries and Galloway, south west Scotland. It is located 4 miles (6.1km) south of Dalbeattie, and 1 mile (1.7km) south of Palnackie, in Buittle parish. It is remarkable as the only cylindrical tower house in Scotland. Orchardton Tower is in the care of Historic Scotland, and is a Category A listed building,and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.HistoryThe Cairns family, who built Orchardton, were associated with the area from the early 15th century. Alexander Cairns was Provost of Lincluden, now an area of Dumfries, until his death in 1422. His brother, John Cairns, was Custumar, or customs officer, in Linlithgow. John Cairns was also a military engineer, and was responsible for designing the impressive King David's Tower at Edinburgh Castle, which was destroyed in 1573. His heir, another John Cairns who was his nephew's son, was granted the lands of 'Irisbuitle', or Orchardton, in 1456. The grant of former Douglas lands was possibly in return for Cairns' support for James II, in his successful struggle to overthrow the power of the 'Black' Earls of Douglas. John Cairns built Orchardton Tower soon after. The fact that round towers are common in Ireland has led to speculation of Irish influence at Orchardton. However, no specific link has been found.
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Orchardton Tower Reviews
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  • In very good order for such an old building can climb to the top of the tower by narrow steep steps and see the surrounding area  more »
  • amazing tower to visit. Free and informative with interesting facts. Lovely view out over the farm as well.  more »
  • Even in the rain, and having to keep an umbrella over the camera, we had a short, but enjoyable visit to this wonderful little ruin. Well worth the time to visit.  more »
  • Beautiful tower but oddly positioned. Worth the drive to. Which is literal. You park the car right outside. The tower itself is unmanned with an honesty box for donations. Beautifully conserved tower with lovely views. Some cellars to explore in the small grounds.
  • A superb little tower for kids to imagine knights and princesses and dragons. No matter how old they are . Worth the journey but take a picnic
  • Great little find with stunning views from the top. Doesn't take a huge amount of time to wonder around, but worth a visit.
  • Very interesting tower in really good shape too
  • A well preserved piece of history with great views from the top Very narrow spiral stairs to the top of the tower....take care

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