enclosed by a heavy border. The panel has
an escutcheon at each angle, and these are
connected by a floral enrichment of oak
leaves wreathed. The escutcheons contain
armorial bearings as under:-
DEXTER CHIEF:- The shield ensigned with
a crown bears a lion rampant within a royal
tressure for Scotland.
SINISTER CHIEF:- A double-headed eagle
displayed beneath an imperial crown - a
charge first used by John, 8th Lord Maxwell,
Earl of Morton.
DEXTER BASE:- A saltire for Maxwell,
impaling a bend between six cross-crosslets
fitchy for Mar.
SINISTER BASE:- A fess chequy surmounted
of a bend engrailed, for Stewart of Dal-
On the panel is a stag, couchant before a
holly bush and supporting between its forelegs
a shield charged with a saltire, for Maxwell.
At the top of the panel are the initials R.M.
- Robert Maxwell, first Earl of Nithsdale
(1620) - and at the foot, on an escroll within
the border, the motto,


Above the panel is an aperture, slanting
upwards as it penetrates the wall, through
which passed the chain or rope which raised
the drawbridge. It has been much worn by
the friction.
Over the entrance is a forework of two
storeys, beneath which a chamber has been
added from which to work the drawbridge
and a pair of portcullises. The outer wall
of this chamber and the piers supporting it
are angled as they near the towers. The piers
have two splayed offsets, the lower returning
along the face and angles, the upper on the
face alone. The beam hole on either side of
the entrance immediately over this latter
offset, and the raggle on the east jamb of the
recess, were formed at a later period.
The approach could be enfiladed from tiers
of gunloops in the massy flanking towers
which rise vertically from a batter at base to
a ponderous corbel course - 52 feet above the
level of the moat - surmounting the gatehouse
and bearing the fragments of a machicolated
parapet walk. From it was entered a cap
house, now ruinous, with turrets corbelled

out over the four angles, which command an
extensive prospect.
The chimney-flues of the tower apartments
are conducted into high stalks set on the inner
portion of the wall within the parapet walk
(fig. 16).
The corbelling is carried along the east wall
at the same level as on the north to a point
4 feet 6 inches south of the gatehouse. The
wall is evidently thus prolonged to protect and
cover the south-east angle of the main building.
On the first and second floors of the easter
flanking tower are windows of considerable
size with a south-east aspect. In the other
directions there are gunloops. The east wall
of the gatehouse is pierced on each of the four
floors by a window close to the junction of this
building with the tower.
South of the gatehouse a range of 17th-
century buildings (fig. 17), embodying the
curtain and possibly an older building in the
same position, runs southward to the extremity
of the site where the east wall terminated in a
drum tower, now demolished.
These 17th-century buildings, of which the
northern portion exists in entirety, contain
three storeys beneath the wall-head, and ter-
minate at this level in a cornice of pseudo-
corbelling 9 feet below the corbelling of the
gatehouse (frontispiece).
The greater part of the south curtain wall
has been demolished to within 3 feet of the
ground. One portion, however, east of the
centre, still stands to a height of 25 feet.
There has been a postern in this wall at its
junction with the west tower.
The west tower of the base is contempor-
aneous with those of the gatehouse. It is
entire to the wall head, and is surmounted at
a height of 40 feet above the moat by a corbel
course similar to that of the gatehouse. Be-
neath this there are four storeys, illumined by
small windows; those on the first floor, set
to the north and east aligning the curtains,
have drains in their sills, consisting of open
chases splayed at the bottom, to cast sewage
into the moat. On the second floor a window
is corbelled out over the angle formed by
the junction of the tower and west curtain
(fig. 18).
The west curtain shows indications of
alterations. The lower part of the wall to a
height of 21 feet is excellent ashlar work, at

-- 13

  Transcribers who have contributed to this page.

valrsl- Moderator

  Location information for this page.

We're working hard to make our services better for you. While we're doing some essential maintenance, this website – or parts of it – might be intermittently unavailable at times between Monday 18 – Monday 25 November. Thank you for your patience.