Orchardton Tower, 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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  • Love Orchardton Tower. We've been visiting it for years. It's unusual and off the beaten track. Our boys loved it when they were younger as it's on such a small scale. It's great for families. We stil...  more »
  • A unique little tower with no entry price, no shops, nothing fancy. In reality it's just an old tower, some ruins, pair of covered rooms and some information boards. But it's great. Great place for a ...  more »
  • It was very interesting and we could climb right to the top. The stairs are not for the faint-hearted! Parking is only sufficient for about 3 cars.  more »
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  • 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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2 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM CANADA June, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 58 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, relaxing, romantic, beaches, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Edinburgh & Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM FRANCE May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, kids, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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