Loch Maberry Castle

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Canmore ID 62444
Site Number NX27NE 1
NGR NX 2855 7511
Former District WIGTOWN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NX27NE 1 2855 7511.

(NX 2855 7511) Loch Maberry Castle (NR) (Remains of)
OS 6" map (1957)

A fortified island surrounded by the remains of a massive drystone wall, 6ft - 7ft thick and still 7ft high in places, rising from almost the water's edge and enclosing an area 112ft by 85ft which has been subdivided and contains buildings all except the largest being of dry-stone. There are entrances on east and west and the island has been connected by causeway to both the loch shore and the island to the north, which is heavily overgrown but shows evidence of having been surrounded at the water's edge by a low wall of large boulders occasionally set on end. A causeway from the SW end of this island links with that between the southern island and the shore.
The most northerly of this group of three islands bears at its southern end a low boulder-wall enclosure with arms projecting from its north side 20ft or 30ft into the loch, possibly to prevent the passage of stock.
These island sites are now thought to belong to the late Dark Ages with occupation continuing into medieval or even later times.
RCAHMS 1912, visited 1911; A E Truckell 1963

This site is as described and planned by the previous authorities. All the structures are of dry-stone construction and the entrance on the E appears to be a small harbour. This would appear to be a castle and is still known as 'Loch Maberry Castle'. No trace could be seen of the two causeways supposedly leading from the island. The low wall around the island to the N and the enclosure, are of much neater construction and are probably of no great significance.
There is a local tradition that the monks of Luce Abbey brought lepers to the islands of Loch Maberry.
Surveyed at 1:10 000.
Visited by OS (JP) 9 June 1976

Books and References

RCAHMS (1912) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Fourth report and inventory of monuments and constructions in Galloway, 1, county of Wigtown, Edinburgh
Page(s): 38-40, No.98 fig.31 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV(4).R

Truckell, A E (1963b) 'Dumfries and Galloway in the Dark Ages: some problems', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.40
Page(s): 92

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