Z-plan tower
16th century

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EH46 7DD
NT 162 434
6m sw of Peebles
w of B7059,
n of A72


ask permission
at B&B


Drochil B&B


Drochil Castle

We knockedon the door of the B&B here to ask if it would be ok to look around the csatle. She was surprised that we were interested in "the old pile", but sent us up to the farmyard to see the ruin.

the ruin of a very fine house

16th century tower house

We were expecting another scant corner of a building, or a small square tower, but the castle here is quite large and very interesting. Described as a 'palatial ruin', the castle is a rather unique floorplan and would have been a rich, luxurious house in its time.

The plan is roughly that of a z-plan tower, but there is a central gallery that runs the length of the cellar and passages ran the length of the building to access the various rooms above -- the first instance of a 'hallway' that we saw. Most castles are just a series of rooms that connect, one into the other. Individual rooms opening off a central passage is a fairly new pheneomenon.

The main tower is roughtly square, 25m x 21m, with four storeys and an attic. On opposite corners are large round towers measuring 7.6m across, which are corbelled out to a square shape after the first storey.

the remaining standing tower / gable end of the main block

The square block allows the unique arrnagement of the central passageway with residence blocks on either side. The north block still stands four storeys high, but the south is more ruined, only the traces of rooms over the cellars -- most of which are blocked off, and some of the cellars are filled with debris.

The towers have small chambers, although the stairs are ruined, and a large spiral staircases led to the upper floors in the main block.

the central "hallway" of the castle, from cellar to parapet

The cellar has a barrell-vaulted central passage, with various rooms leading off from the main entrance, including a kitchen with the requisite enormous fireplace. The hall was on the first floor, and there are many rooms above on either side of the main promenade.

The house was quite grand - the windows were fully glazed and protected with bars, the sandstone surrounds of the windows and doors decorated. There are gunloops in outer walls that are rather uniquely shaped - they are redented (formed like teeth) to deflect bullets, a rare shape in Scotland and far more common in continental Europe.

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