Castle Haven Dun, Dumfries and Galloway
W of Borgue, Kirkudbright
Minor Road off B727
Castle Haven Dun is an Iron Age galleried dun that was cleared and faithfully restored in 1905.
Strategically sited above the shore overlooking Wigtown Bay, it was possibly built by migrants from Argyll, establishing a fortified trading post far to the south from Argyll on the Atlantic seaboard.
The drystone wall encloses a courtyard 60 feet by 35 feet, with the main entrance on the landward side, and a postern gate with steps down to the beach, where their boats would be beached. The walls, even in their restored state, are not particularly high, but within these are three narrow galleries with six entrances onto the interior of the dun. A stairway from the courtyard up to the outer walls enabled access to the outer defences where the dun could be defended. On the north and west side of the dun is a thick secondary defensive wall, which provides additional protection, similar to that of a concentric castle. This additional defensive feature may be a later Dark Age addition, which would also have served as a protective livestock enclosure.
Artifacts have been found from the Iron Age, through the Dark Ages into the early Medieval periods, showing continued use for over a thousand years! Legend has it it may have provided a refuge for Edward Balliol in the 14th century.
For those who are interested in exploring Iron Age Brochs and Duns, and so reliant upon scant remains of stone work and a very good imagination, Castle Haven provides an unparalleled unique opportuntity to see an ancient fortification as close to complete as you will see anywhere.
To find this fascinating dun, leave Kirkudbright heading west on the A755. Turn left on the B727 to Borgue and take the minor coastal road through Kirkandrews. About 220 yards east of Corseyard Tower, the dun can be seen from the road above the shore. With consideration you can park your car on the roadside and look for the gate into the field. From here head down towards the shoreline, picking up a rough path that will take you to the main entrance. There you will find an information board.