Balloch Castle, Loch Lomond Park

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Alternative Names Balloch Castle Country Park
Site Type CASTLE, EARTHWORK(S), MOAT
Canmore ID 42493
Site Number NS38SE 7
NGR NS 3878 8260
Council WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE
Parish BONHILL (WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE)
Former Region STRATHCLYDE
Former District DUMBARTON
Former County DUNBARTONSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes

See also NS38SE 29 for Balloch Castle

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS38SE 7 3878 8260.

(NS 3878 8260) Castle (NR) (Site of): Moat (NR) (See Dunbar 14 SW)
OS 6" map (1923)

Balloch Castle was once the property of the Earls of Lennox, and possessed by them until 1652 when it was purchased by Sir John Colquhoun of Luss. In the 15th century the Castle became the property of the family of Stewart, Lords Darnley, who were afterwards regranted the title of Earls of Lennox. By 1511 it had been replaced by Inchmurrin
as "the chief messuage" of the Earldom of Lennox; and after this period Balloch was gradually deserted.
The Castle was situated on the southern extremity of Loch Lomond and on the east side of the River Leven. Nothing now remains except a mound surroundeed by a ditch. When draining this moat, a causeway leading to what appeared to have been a drawbridge, or bridge, was found. The causeway consisted of the remains of oak beams with uprights mortised into them.
W Fraser 1869

A portion of the old walls of Balloch Castle are incorporated with the modern building.
D Macleod 1883

Balloch Castle was the seat of the Earls of Lennox from the 12th century to the 14th century and many of their charter were dated at the castle.
G Chalmers 1890

A large irregularly shaped natural mound with a ditch running round it, is the only remnant of Balloch Castle. The base of the ditch varies from 2-4m broad, and lies 2.0m below the top of the mound. It is only 0.5m deep on the SW side. Traces of a broad outer bank- spread to 10.0m and 0.3m high - are to be seen on top of the outer lip ofthe ditch within the meadow on the NE.
A broad marsh lies to the NE of the mound, and the moat on the N W and SE sides runs into it. No traces of building foundations are to be seen on top of the mound, and no trace of the causeway referred to by Fraser was found. The Balloch Park (Glasgow Corporation) Keeper confirmed that some of the stones from the Castle were used in the building of the modern building of the same name: but these stones are not evident in the edifice.
Visited by OS (JLD) 25 September 1956

The earthworks of Balloch Castle are as described by OS (JLD).
Revised at 25" scale.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 22 January 1963.

NS 387 826. On low-lying ground by the shore of Loch Lomond is a low, irregularly-shaped natural mound measuring 50m by 45m. It is bounded on three sides by a ditch Sm wide, and on the fourth side by a strip of marsh 25m wide.
RCAHMS 1978, visited August 1977
W Fraser 1869; G Chalmers 1890; G StelI 1972

 
Books and References

Chalmers, G (1887-94) Caledonia: or a historical and topographical account of North Britain, 7 vols + index Paisley
Page(s): Vol.6, 864 Held at RCAHMS C.1.2.CHA

Coventry, M (2001) The castles of Scotland Musselburgh
Page(s): 72 Held at RCAHMS F.5.2.COV

Fraser, Sir W (1869) 'The chiefs of Colquhoun and their country, Edinburgh
Page(s): Vol.2, 155-6 Held at RCAHMS C.6.2. FRA

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