Galloway: To west of Kirkcudbright, on minor road west of A711, just east of the River Dee, at Castledykes.
Ruin or site NX 677508 OS: 83 DG6 4AW
Kirkcudbright Arts Centre (tolbooth): www.dumgal.gov.uk
Site of 13th-century castle, only the surrounding ditch remaining. It had a thick wall with corner towers, one of which may have been a keep, around a large courtyard with a twin-towered gatehouse.
There may have been an earlier stronghold here built by the Lords of Galloway or by Malcolm IV after a rebellion in Galloway, but the earliest mention of a castle is in 1288. The Lordship of Galloway had passed to the Balliols. Edward I of England stayed here for 10 days in July 1300 when the castle was held by the English during the Wars of Independence. The property passed to the Douglases after the Balliols’ forfeiture, but reverted to the Crown on their own forfeiture in 1455, and was visited by James II. Henry VI of England sheltered here in 1461, but the site was given to the town by James IV in 1509. Stone from the castle may have been used to build MacLellan’s Castle in the town in 1577 after the castle site had been given to the MacLellans of Bombie.
The old castle was excavated in 1911-13.
The tolbooth, which has a tall parapeted tower, dates from the 17th century and now houses an arts and visitor centre. Other places of interest include Greyfriars Church, the Stewartry Museum and Broughton House.