It was a stronghold of the unruly Armstrong clan, who were said to be able to muster 3000 men. The castle was built in 1518 but burned by Lord Dacre, the English Warden of the West March in 1523. In 1530 Johnnie Armstrong and 50 followers were summarily hanged on the spot, without trial, by James V after being tricked into joining the king on a hunting party. The event recorded in the old ballad.
, still complete, is the 16th century built Gilnockie Tower which is home to the Clan Armstrong. This Tower, originally known as Hollows Tower, is the
Gilnockie Tower Reiver Centre
and houses many reiving artefacts and the world's largest collection of Armstrong archives.