Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Sanquhar Castle (Dumfries) - Past and Present

Sanquhar approach
Approach to main gate covered by ruined round tower

Sanquhar Castle is difficult to decipher being much altered, allowed to ruin, consolidated, only to fall into ruin again but it seems to date from 1400 with additions from each century until the 17th after which it was abandoned.

Sanquhar past2
Top: Undergoing consolidation in 1900
Bottom: Tall courtyard tower dominates the site

The Marquess of Bute, a lover and restorer of buildings of the middle ages, undertook a period of consolidation from 1895-1901 but died before work was completed. His replacement masonry is clearly visible by his use of different material in order not to confuse with the old.

Sanquhar repairs
The Marquess of Bute's repairs are highlighted by 'set back' polished ashlarn

Unfortunately, the castle is once again in a critical state and much tumbled even since the writer has known it. This highlights the fact that simply to consolidate does not guarantee a structure's survival - there must be a plan for long term use

Sanquhar present
Top: Looking up to entrance from ditch
Bottom: Highlights castle's fine defensive position

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle

Added: 11 Mar 2015 Updated: 24 Jan 2018
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