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Buittle Place, Dalbeattie, Dumfriesshire


THIs typical late 16th-century laird’s house is situated on the west bank of the River Urr about a mile..and-a-half N.W. of Dalbeattie. It lies a short distance from the remains of the old castle of Buittle, and it is said that the materials for its erection came largely from the castle.

The house is on the L-plan, and the walls, which are of rubble, rough-cast, rise to a height of four storeys. The present roof is, however, slightly lower than it was originally, and angle-turrets which formerly crowned the N.W. and S.E. angles of the main block are now represented only by the lower course of their corbelling. The main block lies roughly East and West, with the wing extending Northwards, and a circular stair-turret projects above first-floor level in the re-entrant angle.

The old entrance is by an arched doorway in the foot of the wing at the re-entrant angle, and now admits only to the wing basement chamber. This apartment is not vaulted and has obviously been altered, and it is probable that the main stair to the first floor originally rose herein, as is usual in this type of house.

The ground floor of the main block contains a large vaulted chamber, now reached by a i~odern doorway opened in the West gable, but the entrance was formerly from the wing. The first floor is now reached by an external stone stair erected against the South wall, a modern doorway having been opened at its head. The house at this level and above has been completely altered and reconstructed internally, no features of interest remaining. As Buittle Place was a roofless ruin when Grose made a drawing of it in 1790, the present featureless state of the interior is only to be expected.

The building is now occupied as a farmhouse and is in good condition. The lands of Buittle were held by the Baliol family from very early times, John Baliol, King of Scotland, having succeeded to the property through his mother, Devorgilla, daughter of Allan, Lord of Galloway. Buittle passed, however, in the 14th century to the “Good Sir James Douglas,” and by the middle of the i6th century was in the hands of the Maxwell family, who have since retained possession.

Source: The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland 1400 to 1650. Tranter, Nigel. Published by The Moray Press, Edinburgh & London (1935)

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