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Orchardton Tower, Kirkcudbright

Categories: Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
5/5 based on 20 reviews on the web
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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  • 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 ...  read 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. 
  • Wow, we were out a drive while on holiday and saw the sign for the tower so we decided to visit. We weren't disappointed what a beautiful structure. Set in gorgeous surroundings. The views from the to...  read more »
  • I "discovered" Orchardton Tower as a child in the 1960's. It was then and still is I'm sure a most unexpected glimpse into a past that remains tantalizingly mysterious today. John
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