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Duchray Castle

A Category B Listed Building in Trossachs and Teith, Stirling

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Latitude: 56.1674 / 56°10'2"N

Longitude: -4.4477 / 4°26'51"W

OS Eastings: 248114

OS Northings: 699894

OS Grid: NS481998

Mapcode National: GBR 0R.HGS9

Mapcode Global: WH3MM.N78T

Plus Code: 9C8Q5H82+XW

Entry Name: Duchray Castle

Listing Name: Duchray Castle

Listing Date: 5 September 1973

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335089

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3914

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Drymen

County: Stirling

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Parish: Drymen

Traditional County: Stirlingshire

Tagged with: Castle

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Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Late 16th century; restored, remodelled and addition constructed to W circa 1825 and mid-later 19th century addition to NE. Small 3-storey rectangular-plan towerhouse with circular-plan stairtower at SE corner, eaves-height bartizan at NW arris and crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts. Separate 2-storey; rectangular-plan block of circa 1825 to W (subsequently altered following fire) linked to original block by (probably contemporary) wing wall with large segmental-headed gateway and crenellated parapet (this and pointed and round-headed windows of main block in 'Gothick' style). Mid-later 19th century; 2-storey; 3-bay; rectangular-plan addition to NE; with crowstepped gables with beaked skewputts and narrow linking bay projecting at right angles. Rubble construction throughout (main block partially limewashed); W block harled to N and E sides; stugged red sandstone dressings to NE block (long and short surrounds to most windows, quoins at arrises and crowsteps).


S ELEVATION: circular-plan stairtower to outer right; entrance (possibly inserted) to left; architrave with chamfered reveal and 2-leaf studded boarded timber door; narrow pointed-headed stair windows at centre of tower to 2 higher levels. 2 pointed-headed windows to ground and 2nd floors to main body set back to left; round-arched Y-traceried window centred to 1st floor. Wing wall with segmental-headed gateway and crenellated parapet adjoins to left, linking to W block.

N ELEVATION: mid-later 19th century block projects to outer left of ground and 1st floors; small later lean-to to re-entrant at right return adjoins ground floor of main block. Pointed-headed window to outer right of ground floor. Round-arched Y-traceried window to right of 1st floor. Near-central flat-headed window to 2nd floor; round-arched window to outer left; corbelled out bartizan at right arris; narrow round-arched window out outermost point.

E ELEVATION: stairtower (see 'S Elevation') projects to left; crowsteps of gable end curved round nearest part of it. Irregularly spaced pointed-headed windows set back to right; one to each floor. Narrow 2-storey linking bay to mid-later 19th century block to NE adjoins to right.

W ELEVATION: blank gable end. Former entrance (blocked) visible to left of ground floor. Wing wall with gateway, linking to W block, projects at right angles to outer right. Multi-pane timber sash and case windows; mainly with vertical astragals splitting into Y pattern above springing point of arched heads. Gablehead stacks with band courses to either side (E and W); round cans.

INTERIOR: Barrel-vaulted ground floor. Original stone turnpike staircase. Fixtures and fittings replaced.


S ELEVATION: pointed-headed window centred to ground and 1st floors. Parapet to roof flanked by crenellations. Red sandstone quoins to upper section of left arris. Wing wall with segmental-headed arch and deeply crenellated parapet adjoins to right, linking to main block.

W ELEVATION: pointed-headed window to right of 1st floor.

E ELEVATION: entrance to outer left; pointed-headed window to centre of 1st floor.

N ELEVATION: garage entrance to left; entrance to right. 2 flat-headed windows to 1st floor; that to right smaller/at slightly higher level. Multi-pane timber sash and case windows; mainly with vertical astragals splitting into Y pattern above springing point of arched heads. Flat asphalted roof.

INTERIOR: not inspected (2000).


N ELEVATION: 3-bay; window to each floor to each bay; those to left bay larger, including breaking-eaves dormer with crowstepped gable to 1st floor.

S ELEVATION: window to centre of 1st floor; larger breaking-eaves dormer with crowstepped gable to right. Left bay occupied by narrow section linking to main block at right angles; window to each floor to right return.

E ELEVATION: rubble terrace at ground floor (built up from sloping ground); steps up to entrance to left; replacement glazed timber door; window to right. Mullioned bipartite centred below gable above.

W ELEVATION: window (without long and short surrounds) to right of ground floor to gable end; 1st floor window to outer right. 1st floor window to adjacent narrow linking bay to main block to right. Later single storey harled lean-to to re-entrant angle between 2 blocks (window to front and one to left return). Small later harled single storey addition with stepped flat roof to left; entrance to left return. Mainly 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof. Later harled external stack to W gable end; round can.

INTERIOR: not inspected (2000).

Statement of Interest

A notable small towerhouse of the late 16th century; its walls largely intact although its window openings have been completely altered. On Grassom's Map of 1817 it is described as 'in ruin'. According to the OS Name Book for the early 1860's it had been 'rebuilt (most likely restored/remodelled) about 35 years ago'. The alterations that took place in around 1825 (notably the introduction of pointed-headed and Y-traceried windows) have contributed to its 'Gothic' Revival appearance. The crenellated parapet of the wing wall to the W forms part of the modifications of the same period/style. A mid 19th century photograph in the possession of the owner shows that the castle formerly (prior to the construction of the NE block) had flanking wing walls; that to the E being lower in height with a slightly taller deeply crenellated section at its E end. It is not known if any/either of these walls predate the 1820's (the deep crenellations are certainly of this period). It is possible that the original building, which occupies a fairly strong defensive position on the S side of a steep ravine leading down to Duchray water, may have had a curtain wall. A curved rubble wall supporting a terrace to the SE of the castle may contain remnants of this. The 1865 OS map shows that both the W block and that to the NE were already in existence by this time (although the former constituted part of a slightly longer range stretching further to the N). It is not clear exactly what form this range took in the 1820s. A later/late 19th century photograph in the possession of the owner shows that at this time it was a 3-storey building (the upper storey must have been an addition of around this time as it does not appear on the earlier photograph, in which it appears at its present height - although continuously crenellated). At some point around the middle of the 20th century this block was partly destroyed by fire and remodelled in its present form. In 1569 the lands of Duchray were purchased from John Drummond of Drongy by the Graham family of Downance (having some years previously been feued off from the Stewartry of Menteith). It appears that the castle was built by either John Graham or his son William. It was the meeting point for the Royalist forces raised by the Earl of Glencairn in 1653. Following their subsequent defeat of Cromwellian troops in a battle near Aberfoyle and the accession of James VII, the then laird, John Graham, was granted a precept authorising that he be paid £100 and granting him remission of feu duties on account of his 'loyalty, services and sufferings' (MacGibbon and Ross). In the early 1860's the castle was still in the ownership of the Grahams but occupied by Mr Bolton of Glasgow as a shooting lodge (OS Name Book). The castle remained in the possession of the Graham family until the 1940's. See separate list description for Duchray Castle Lodge.

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