keep and tower
15th-18th century

aka Drumwalt


NX 308541
7m E of Glenluce,
n. of B7005 and
s. of B733.


private site


Beltie Cattle


Old Place of Mochrum

the two linked towers of Mochrum.

Clusters of towers

There are actually two different castles here -- a 15th century keep and a 16th century tower house. They are enclosed in a large courtyard. The castle is on flat fround, and there doesn't appaer to be any ditches surrounding the towers.

The older tower is a plan rectangular tower of four stories plus an attic. It has a roof walk and two corbelled-out parapets. The later tower dates from the late 16th century, nearly 200 years later. It is also a simple rectangle, but the walls are thinner, the windows are larger, and the upper story has no decoration. A number of buildings have been added within the courtyard, inlcuding a gatehouse and housing block.

The whole castle -- courtyard, outbuildings, courtyard wall, towers -- have been carefully restored after falling to ruins in the 18th century. This has changed the layout of the earlier tower substantially - the entrace into the kitchens is relatively unchanged, but the floors above were restored as a residence.

the first-story entrance to the couryard, between the towers


The lands here were granted to Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, by King David II in the 15th century. Until 1694, the castle stayed in the family, the Cospatrick Earls of Dunbar and March (the Archbishop of Glasgow during the reign of James V was in the family). The original tower was built by Patrick's second daughter and her husband.

It was passed to the Earls of Dumfries, the MacDowells in 1694. In 1876, it was bought by the Stewart Marquises of Bute, who still own the property.

Beltied Galloway Cattle

You've seen them -- they look like Oreo Cookie Cows -- Black fronts, black butts, and white in the middle. It's a rare breed of cow that apparently throws this pattern true. We have a few small herds of them here in Colorado, they are a novelty, I htink, and kept for their striking looks. At any rate, the "premier herd" of Beltie Cattle in Scotland are in Mochrum. I didn't see any. Drat!