Ayrshire: About 1.5 miles south of Galston, on minor road west of B7037, 0.5 miles south and west of hamlet of Sornhill, at Sornhill.
Private NS 509342 OS: 70 KA4 8NF
Sornhill House is an attractive 17th-century L-plan tower house of three storeys and a garret, with a stair tower in the re-entrant angle. The stair tower is crowned by a watch-chamber, and the gables are corbiestepped. Some of the windows are small, while others have been enlarged, and the walls were harled. The tower may incorporate older work, but there appear to be few if any defensive features. There is a stone with the date 1683 and RN and BN over a fireplace in the attic, and the stair tower has the date 1660 and the initials I N M R. The I N may be James Nisbet, who is mentioned in 1682.
‘Sornhil’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Kyle, although given no prominence.
The property was possibly held by the Nisbets before being sold to the Campbells of Loudoun in 1553. It was later sold to the Nisbets, who held the property in the 17th and 18th centuries, and Archibald Nisbet of Sornhill is on record in tax rolls of 1797-98 (presumably it is his initials (AN) and the date 1799 which is carved into a wall). The family appears to have ended in an heiress Cecilia, the only daughter of Archibald.
The building was used as a farmhouse but has recently been restored.
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