Earlstoun Tower

Earlstoun Tower, Dumfries and Galloway

Earlstoun Tower (1)


2 miles North of St John’s Town of Dalry


Minor road west of B7000



Earlstoun Castle is an altered 3 storey 16th-century L-plan tower house. 

The tower house was once very derelict but is under restoration.

Although the tower cannot be accessed, it can be viewed from its grounds. Once fully restored you can but wonder what a fabulous home this will make somone.

~ History ~

1550's ~ The castle passes from the Hepburn Earls of Bothwell to the Sinclair family.

1581 ~ The castle is held by Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell.

1615 ~ The castle is forfeit and passes by marriage to the Gordons of Airds.

1679 ~ William Gordon is on his way to join his son at the Battle of Bothwell Brig, and his castle is occupied by troops engaged in suppressing Covenanters.

Following the defeat, the government declare the Covenanter rebels as traitors, including William who was already dead by this time, but named him along with other key land-owners so that his lands could be seized.

The significance of the defeat at Bothwell Brig is to prove very great. It leads directly to a more systematic oppression on the part of the government in driving the persecuted into deeper seclusion, to the wild moors and uplands further away from the troopers hunting them down. These are the deep wooded glens, the morasses where there is only peaty water to drink, the rocky exposed hills, and lonely dank caves in gorges. Anywhere in fact where there is shelter and perhaps safety from their pursuers.

The family became baronets, and Sir Alexander Gordon, baronet and son of William, also a Covenanter, is imprisoned for execution.

1689 ~ William is released from prison and escapes execution. However, the family later gets into debt, leading to the castle passing to the Newalls.

1854 ~ Sir William Gordon, baronet of Earlstoun, takes part in the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava and is one of the few who survives the slaughter.