Hessilhead Castle

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Alternative Names Hasslehead; Hazelhead; Hesselheid
Canmore ID 42202
Site Number NS35SE 6
NGR NS 38013 53297
Former District CUNNINGHAME
Former County AYRSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS35SE 6 38013 53297

Hessilhead Castle (NR) (In Ruins)
OS 6" map (1911).

(NS 3801 5330) Hessilhead Castle (NR) (site of)
OS 6" map (1970).

Hessilhead Castle, now roofless and ruinous, is an oblong structure, built at two periods, measuring some 74 feet by 38 1/2 feet. The old (W) part was apparently a 15th-17th century keep; the E addition was build by Francis Montgomerie, who bought the estate in 1680. Both old and new parts are vaulted on the ground floor; the upper parts are too ruinous to describe. The mansion was allowed to become ruinous about 1776. It was noted by Pont as a strong old building, surrounded with large ditches and situated on a loch.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1889.

Hessilhead Castle has been demolished. Extensive quarrying around the site has removed any possible traces of a moat. No building vestiges remain.
Visited by OS (DS), 28 August 1956.

Books and References

Dobie, J S (ed.) (1876) Cuninghame, topographized by Timothy Pont, A M, 1604-1608: with continuations and illustrative notices by the late James Dobie of Crummock, FSA Scot., Glasgow
Held at RCAHMS D.11.22.CUN.R

MacGibbon and Ross, D and T (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v Edinburgh
Page(s): Vol.3, 375-7 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.MAC

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