Drumcoltran Castle, Drumfries & Galloway
7m north east of Dalbeattie
Drumcoltran Castle is a 16th century Tower-house built on a south-facing slope overlooking the Kirkgunzeon Lane, a burn which flows into the Urr Water at Dalbeattie. The valley is extensively drained today and would once have been a significant and marshy barrier to travellers across upland Dumfries-shire. The tower once guarded this important route from Dumfries to Dalbeattie.
The inscription above the front entrance is translated as: ‘Keep hidden what is secret; speak little; be truthful; avoid wine; remember death; be merciful.’
The basement is vaulted and housed the kitchen, the hall was on the first floor, and there were private chambers above.
Today the tower can be found surrounded by farm buildings close to the road where there is parking available for visitors.
~ History ~
1170 ~ The lands of Kirkgunzeon are granted by Uchtred of Galloway to the Abbey of Holm Cultram in Cumbria.
1300's ~ Robert the Bruce reclaims the land for Scotland during the Wars of Independence.
1367 ~ King David II grants the land to Sir John Herries.
1548 ~ Edward Maxwell, younger son of the Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock Castle, marries Agnes Herries, heiress to the Herries Lordship.
1590's ~ Drumcoltran Tower is erected by Edward Maxwell to control the Dumfries to Dalbeattie road.
1644 ~ John Maxwell inherits the Tower from his father upon his death.
1669 ~ Drumcoltran is acquired by the Irving's and within a few decades they have it converted into a farm.
1750 ~ Through marriage the tower passes to Captain John Maxwell who constructs a new house built adjacent to the Tower and connects to it via a short passageway. Together the two structures provide accommodation for the farm labourers. This arrangement continues until the later years of the nineteenth century after which the Tower itself was re-used as a farm store before being taken into State care in 1951.