Threave Castle, Kirkcudbright

Threave Castle is situated on an island in the River Dee, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) west of Castle Douglas in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland.

Built in the 1370s by Archibald the Grim, it was a stronghold of the "Black Douglases", Earls of Douglas and Lords of Galloway, until their fall in 1455. For part of this time, the castle and the lordship of Galloway were controlled by Princess Margaret, daughter of King Robert III and widow of the 4th Earl. In 1449 Threave was regained by the 8th earl, Scotland's most powerful magnate, who controlled extensive lands and numerous castles. He fortified Threave with an "artillery house", a sophisticated defence for its time. The excessive power of the Black Douglas lords led to their overthrow by King James II in 1455, after which Threave was besieged and captured by the King's men.

It became a royal castle, and in the 16th century hereditary responsibility for Threave was given to the Lords Maxwell. It was briefly held by the English in the 1540s, but did not see serious action until the Bishops' Wars, when in 1640 a royalist garrison was besieged by a force of Covenanters. Partially dismantled, the castle remained largely unused until given into state care in 1913. The ruins, comprising the substantially complete tower house and the L-shaped artillery house, are today maintained by Historic Environment Scotland as a scheduled monument.
The castle complex is open to the public.
With our world travel planner, Kirkcudbright attractions like Threave Castle can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Threave Castle
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Threave Castle Reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
370 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to visit for all the family. Good sibns showing the history, and really good views from the keep.  more »
  • Wonderful staff make this a trip to remember, which includes a short boat trip after a lovely walk to the castle. Lots of wildlife and stunning views. But the staff are the best bit.  more »
  • The staff were fabulous at engaging our 3 kids (aged under 10) and helped them get the most out of the visit. The walk there and back was easy and well signed; the boat trip to the island added an...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful walk ways, so well kept. I visited June and saw Osprey chick being fed on nest as dad brought in massive fish. Visited again end of July to see the last of three chicks to fledge, still thinking about it. How wonderful was that! All on our doorstep too. We are so lucky. Thanks to all volunteers for knowledge and stories.
  • Well worth a visit..a small castle ruin that you need to take a small boat journey to the island that it sits on...an 800M walk from the car park to the boat but its an easy stroll for all ages. Advice is to NOT follow Google maps to 'Threave Castle' ..make sure you go to 'Threave Castle Car Park' or you'll end up on a single track road nowhere near the castle.
  • Interesting site. Huge historical interest and plenty of information about it. There is a nice boat crossing to the castle. In addition we also looked at the ospreys and also saw a red kite.
  • Lovely walk, thoroughly enjoyed it! It's a good idea to take your wellies! I look forward to going back to do the bat trail soon!
  • The unique feature of visiting this ancient castle is calling the ferryman to cross the water to the island on which it is situated. There are plenty of information boards scattered across the site but compared to some Historic Scotland sites we have visited it is less interactive and therefore holds less interest for little ones. It should also be noted that the walk to the ferry is approximately 15mins which, whilst enjoyable for us, might be a bit of a trek for those with limited mobility.

Plan your trip to Kirkcudbright

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Kirkcudbright

4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
1.3
Duration: 2 hours
3.9
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Kirkcudbright

4.0
Duration: 2 hours
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
4.3
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Kirkcudbright

4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.7
Duration: 1h 30 min
3.9
Duration: 2 hours

Nearby attractions in Kirkcudbright

4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.2
Duration: 2 hours

Museums in Kirkcudbright

4.4
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Kid-friendly things to do in Kirkcudbright

4.5
Duration: 2 hours

Plans to Threave Castle by other users

5 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 4 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, popular sights Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, historic sites, popular sights Preferences: July, historic sites Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 2 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 18 days in United Kingdom & Paris BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM ISLE OF MAN May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 10 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Ayr BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 24 days in United Kingdom & Amsterdam BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Dumfries and Galloway BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Kirkcudbright BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans