rather odd looking castle originally sat on an island on Loch Doon and must have
been almost impossible to besiege. Not because of its strong walls but because
of its position on such a deep wide Loch. No causeway could be built out to it
to convey siege towers. No land based mangonels or trebuchets (giant catapults
which hurled rocks and fireballs) could hope to reach its walls. So all assaults
would have to be by boat ,a very risky business.
besieged it was in 1306,when Sir Christopher Seton, a follower and
brother-in-law of King Robert the Bruce (1306-1329) ,fled here after the defeat
of Bruce at the battle of Methven. The castle was held by the hereditary
Governor Sir Gilbert de Carrick, who fearing Bruce to be a lost cause
surrendered to the English without even trying to fight. Sir Christopher was
taken prisoner to Dumfries and hanged as a traitor, while Sir Gilbert escaped
with his life.
1446 Loch Doon was again besieged and eventually surrendered to a force sent by
William 8th Earl of Douglas, whose power in the region was clashing with that of
the infamous Kennedies. However, in this instance the castle appears to have
been seized by the Maclellans of Dumfries who opposed the Douglas attempts to
gain control of Carrick. By 1510 Loch Doon was in Kennedy hands when it was
besieged a third time by William Crawford of Lochmores.
reconstruction shows the castle as it may have been in 1306 with a simple
enclosing wall, its unusual shape being dictated by the rocky island. Later an
oblong towerhouse was added possibly in the early 1500's. But this suffered
destruction during the reign of King James V (1513-1542) of Scots when he chose
to destroy his Lords castles to keep them in subjection to his royal authority.
For some great current and historic photos of the area visit
an old sketch of Loch Doon Castle click
a short video of the interior play this file (282k)
(Windows Media File)
a short video of the exterior play this file