Sorbie Tower, Dumfries and Galloway
~ History ~
1485 ~ Robert Hannay succeeds Ethe Hanney of Sorbie.
1498 ~ Robert acts as sheriff for Wigtownshire on behalf of his brother-in-law, Quentin Agnew, and sees his influence grown considerably as a result.
1569 ~ Alexander Hannay takes over the Sorbie estates and later builds himself a tower house, protected on three sides by marshland. The tower is built to provide protection for the Hannay's who are at feud with the Murray's of Broughton, and other nearby feuds underway by rival clans.
The Hannay's have amassed wealth and accumulated property over the years, partly through marriage but also through trade throughout Wigtownshire.
1612 ~ Alexander Hannay dies.
1626 ~ The Hanny's have become quite impoverished and see much of their estates sold to Sir Patrick Agnew of Lochnaw Castle and the Stewarts of Garlies.
1640 ~ John Hannay is killed during a quarrel.
1677 ~ The Stewarts of Garlies are now the Earls of Galloway, become Lairds of Sorbie.
1748 ~ Brigadier-General John Stewart, a member of Parliament for Wigtown, becomes the last resident of Sorbie Tower upon his death.
Sorbie Tower lies in Wigtownshire, about a mile out of the village of Sorbie on the B7052.
It is situated close to an artificial defensive mound, known as the "Sorbie Motte" which was the site of an earlier Pictish wooden fort dating from the 1100's.
Today this imposing ruin is hidden in heavy tree cover and is easy to miss.
Approaching the Tower is via an unmade road through damp marshy ground, hence the origins of the 'Sorbie' name (" a dwelling amongst swamps...").
Parking is provided with a short walk to the Tower past a small workshop from which the charity continues to undertake maintenance work on the Tower. If like us you are lucky enough to see one of the volunteers at work, you may also get a guided tour of the tower.