Tibbers Castle

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Site Type CASTLE
Canmore ID 65153
Site Number NX89NE 2
NGR NX 8625 9821
Former District NITHSDALE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes


Inventory to Buccleuch drawings (Drumlanrig) - typescript

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NX89NE 2 8625 9821.

(NX 8625 9821) Tibbers Castle (NR) (Remains of).
OS 6" map (1957)

Tibbers Castle was built in the mid 13th century, strengthened in the 1290's, and destroyed soon after (A E Truckell and J Williams 1967).
It occupies the earlier "Mote de Tibris", a partly artificial mound at the N end of a headland, separated by a partly artificial ravine. A conspicuous rampart and ditch drawn across this headland, forms it into a bailey, 200 x 300ft.
The roughly oblong castle measures 125 x 86ft within 7-9ft thick walls, now ruinous and under 12ft high, with circular towers at the angles Excavations were in progress at the castle in 1864; finds included two coins of Edward II. A quillon dagger, now in Dumfries Museum, from this site is datable to the first quarter of the 15th c.
J Williams 1970; J G Scott 1969; Dumfries Courier & Herald 10 June 1864

There is mention of burning in 1547 (A C Smith 1930), and the lands and barony "cum castro et lie castell-mote" were confirmed to Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig in 1592.
RCAHMS 1920; R C Reid 1939

The ruins of Tibbers Castle (name verified) are situated on the top of a steep-sided tree-covered mound which is isolated at the end of a prominent flat topped ridge.
The remains are sub-rectangular, 36.0m NE-SW by 26.0m at the north-east end tapering to 20.0m with the foundations of circular towers (4.5m diameter over walling 1.0m thick) at each corner. The south-west wall is the best preserved being 2.2m thick and up to 2.0m high with an entrance gap 2.6m wide adjacent to the south tower. Several internal divisions are evident with tumbled walling 1.0m thick and up to 1.0m high. The well is in a good condition.
The rock-cut ditch to the south of the castle mound is 18.0m wide and up to 3.1m deep; a slight protrusion in the slope opposite the entrance may indicate the remains of a causeway.
The rampart and ditch across the headland, noted by the RCAHMS, is under plough and only the ditch is identifiable; where best preserved it is 16.0m wide and 0.7m deep.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (TRG) 16 December 1977.

Books and References

Coventry, M (2008) Castles of the Clans: the strongholds and seats of 750 Scottish families and clans, Musselburgh
Page(s): 159,168,404,534 Held at RCAHMS F.5.21.COV

RCAHMS (1920) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Seventh report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Dumfries, Edinburgh
Page(s): 63-5, No.157 plan Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV(7)

Reid, R C (1939c) 'Tibbers Castle', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.21 (Field Meetings)
Page(s): 210-15

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Charity SC026749