Galloway: In Stranraer, short distance south-west of junction of A77 with A75, Charlotte Street, in centre of town.
Private NX 061608 OS: 82 DG9 7EJ
OPEN: Open May-end Sep, Tue-Sat 10.00-13.00 and 13.30-16.30.
Tel: 01776 705544 Web: www.dumgal.gov.uk
Stranraer Castle, which is also known as the Castle of St John, is a much-altered 16th-century L-plan tower house of three storeys within a corbelled-out parapet, and has a 17th-century storey
above parapet level.
The building has been much added to and altered internally, but the basement is vaulted, and the large hall was on the first floor. A turnpike stair climbs to the upper floors.
The castle is depicted on Blaeu’s map of Wigtown and is marked as ‘Chapel’, ‘Stronrawyr’ also being marked on the other side of the river.
The castle was probably built by Adair of Kilhilt around 1511, although it may be older, but had passed to the Kennedys of Chapel by 1596, then to the Dalrymples of Stair in 1680. John Graham of Claverhouse, ‘Bonnie Dundee’ or ‘Bloody Clavers’, stayed here while suppressing Covenanters from 1682-5 as one of his duties as the Sheriff of Galloway. The ground around the castle was cleared of 19th-century buildings in the 1970s. The castle is now a museum, with exhibitions telling the history from its building through Covenanting times to its use as a town jail in the 19th century.
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