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Carsluith Castle, Creetown, Galloway,Dumfriesshire

CARSLUITH CASTLE

SITUATED on high ground which slopes sharply down to the shore to south and west, Carsluith lies close to the main road about three-and-a-half miles S.S.E. of Creetown and two miles N.W. of Barholm Castle. It is an interesting L-shaped structure which appears to date from two periods, the main block, which lies East and West, having probably been a rect¬angular tower of th-century construction, while the small wing, which projects Northwards at the West end, is a stair-tower dating from 1368. This stair wing is obviously an addition, and would replace the earlier narrow wheel-stair which doubtless rose in the N.W. angle. The main block is three storeys and an attic in height, the East and West walls being crowned with a parapet and walk, all but the N.W. angle being provided with open rounds. A series of corbels, of an earlier style than those supporting the present parapet, project near the North wall-head, and these were no doubt for the support of the original parapet, which would return round the building. The upper portion of the stair-tower, which has a slight external projection, contains the usual small chamber which acts as a cap-house and is reached by a turret stair.

The windows are simply moulded and the walls, which are of rubble, are well provided with gun-loops, of the wide splayed variety in the main block and of the later circular type in the addition. The doorway lies in the re-entrant angle and is surmounted by a panel bearing the arms of Brown, the initial B and the date 1568. The door admits to the foot of the wide turnpike stair, while to the left a mural passage gives access to the two vaulted basement cellars. The Western apart¬ment is provided with a mural chamber in the N.W. angle. On the first floor is the Hall, a large chamber with a wide moulded fireplace in the North wall, containing in its West jamb a “dog-legged” aumbry, doubtless for the storage of salt. The room is lit by five windows and is provided with a garderobe in the N.W. angle, an aumbry to the East, and a stone basin, with drain, in the West wall. The second floor contained two apartments, each having a fireplace in the gable and garderobes in the South wall, while to the South of each fireplace is a recess. The main stair rises only to this level, the ascent being continued by the turret stair, which rises partly within the thickness of the wall, but projects slightly to the West. The situation of this stair is unusual, the normal position being, of course, in the re-entrant angle. The attic storey was also subdivided, each apartment containing a fireplace. The building, though roofless, is in excellent condition, it being now under the care of H.M. Office of Works.

The family of Brown, one of whom, Gilbert Brown of Carsluith, was the last Abbot of Sweetheart Abbey, acquired the lands through marriage with the heiress of the Lindsays, former proprietors.

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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