dumfries-1920/04-110

Transcription

CLOSEBURN.] -- INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS IN DUMFRIESSHIRE. -- [CLOSEBURN.

The inscription is in two lines, as shown:
there are single rims above, below, and between
these lines. The lower line has smaller
lettering. The lettering is very rude and
irregular, the n's and the s are reversed, and
all the letters, figures, and ornaments appear
to have been made by marking the mould
with a sharp instrument instead of by the use
of stamps. The initials are those of George
Hog, who cast several bells during the earlier
part of the 17th century, including one at
Keith Marischal, Haddingtonshire. The
hammer and crown are the insignia of the
Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh,
and "APUD POTERRAW" in the inscription
evidently refers to the street of that name.
BRASS ALMS DISH. - In the manse is pre-
served a brass alms dish 13 inches in diameter,
bearing in the centre, in repoussée work, a
representation of the Annunciation. it is
German work, of probably the 15th century.
FONT FROM DALGARNOCK. - In the porch,
beneath the tower of the modern church, is
the basin of the font of the old church of
Dalgarnock. It is a plain octagonal basin,
with a drain in the bottom, 2 feet 3 inches in
diameter over all. 1 foot 9 inches in diameter
across the actual basin, 1 foot 3 inches in
depth outside and 8 inches inside. The name
"Dalgarno" has been cut on the edge in
modern lettering.
CROSS-SHAFT, ETC. - Beside the font lies a
fragment of a cross-shaft, with two vertical
panels of interlaced work formed from a
four-cord plait,
A fine beak-head, evidently from the cornice
of a church of the later Norman period, is also
preserved here.
xxxi. -- S.E. -- 24 May and 12 June 1912.

CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC STRUCTURES.

59. Closeburn Castle. - This tower (fig. 4
of Introduction), dating from the end of the
14th century, stands in what is now one of
the fertile and wooded parks of Nithsdale,
some 12 miles by road north-north-west of
Dumfries. The site has been originally a
peninsula at the south-east end of what once
was Closeburn loch, and the approach to the
castle from the east or landward side has
been defended by a wide moat cut across
the neck of the peninsula, which would in

this way be converted into an island, as it
is shown in Grose's Antiquities of Scotland
even as late as 1789. On plan (fig. 30) the
tower is of the simple rectangular type,
measuring, on the ground floor, some 27 feet
6 inches by 15 feet 6 inches within walls
nearly 10 feet in thickness. The total height
from the ground to the level of the parapet
measures some 50 feet. The building com-
prises four storeys and an attic, the two lower

[Plan Inserted]
FIG. 30. - Closeburn Castle (No. 59).

storeys, including the basement, and the attic
being vaulted. A doorway in the west wall
gives access to the basement, which is now
subdivided into three dark cellars. No
windows appear to have been formed in its
massive walls, probably with a view to greater
security, nor has there been any internal com-
munication with the upper floors.
The main entrance is situated at the north
end of the west wall at the first-floor level,
some 10 feet from the ground; access to the
tower would be gained originally by a move-
able ladder, which has been replaced in later
times by the present forestair of stone. The
doorway measures 4 feet 6 inches in width,
has splayed outer jambs and a semicircular
arch-head, and is still secured by an excep-
tionally well-preserved iron "yett." There
is also a bar-hole in the south jamb, some
6 feet in depth. Originally the first floor
would serve as the hall, measuring about
30 by 18 feet within walls averaging 8 feet
in thickness; but it has been subsequently
divided by a central partition some 3 feet in
thickness, which contains two fireplaces. The
windows have been enlarged to suit modern
requirements. A wheel-stair in the north wall
adjoining the entrance gives access to the
upper floors and to the parapet walk. the

-- 31

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