Lanarkshire & Glasgow area: About 6 miles east of Carnwath on minor roads north of A721 or east of A702, 3 miles west and north of Dolphinton, at or near Dunsyre.
Ruin or site NT 072477 [?] OS: 72 ML11 8NQ
Site of castle, near the parish church. The basement was vaulted, and there were at least two further storeys with a turnpike stair. ‘Dunsyir’ and ‘Westoun of Dunsyir’ are marked on Pont’s map of Lanark.
This was originally a property of the Gourlays before passing by marriage to the Somervilles in the middle of the 12th century. By the middle of the 14th century it was held by the Newbigging family, but was granted to the Douglas Earls of Douglas in 1368. In 1492 it was exchanged for Hermitage Castle by the Hepburn Lords Hailes and Earls of Bothwell, among a cluster of their properties of Dunsyre, Elsrickle, Walston and Dolphinton. Dunsyre went back to the Douglas Earls of Angus in 1567, but was held by Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, in 1585, although he was later also forfeited. The property later passed to the Lockharts of The Lee.
Until about 1740, the ruins of the castle were still used to hold courts, and ‘possessed its instruments of torture’, although little or nothing now remains. The location is approximate.
Medieval jougs are preserved at the parish church [NT 072481], which mostly dates from the 19th century but is on a much older site, which was dedicated to St Bride.
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