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Hills Tower, Gatehouse and Courtyard Walls

A Category A Listed Building in Castle Douglas and Crocketford, Dumfries and Galloway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0366 / 55°2'11"N

Longitude: -3.7036 / 3°42'12"W

OS Eastings: 291224

OS Northings: 572666

OS Grid: NX912726

Mapcode National: GBR 2BK6.ZB

Mapcode Global: WH5WP.2NNR

Entry Name: Hills Tower, Gatehouse and Courtyard Walls

Listing Date: 4 November 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 342015

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB9715

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Lochrutton

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Castle Douglas and Crocketford

Parish: Lochrutton

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire

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Description

16th century square towerhouse with later minor alterations;
adjoining E side 1723; 2-storey house by John Selchrig,
mason. These buildings form the S range of an enclosed square
courtyard; wall of various building dates with 16th/17th
century ornamental gatehouse to W.
TOWER: probably constructed for Edward Maxwell soon after he
was granted the lands of Hills in 1527, the upper works are
of more ornamental character probably late 16th/early 17th
century, and contemporary with the gatehouse. 4-storey and
attic square plan tower, rubble walling with dressed quoins.
TOWER: heraldic panel above door contains arms of Edward
Maxwell and Janet Carson. Large paired windows to 1st and 2nd
floor are 1723 enlargements, chamfered jambs. 1930's glazing.
Bands of chequered corbels support slightly projecting
wall-walk and small open angle-rounds/bartizans. Mock cannon
gargoyles are placed just above the corbel course, parapet
wall much rebuilt and now embattled. Hefty stack to W gable.
E gable crowstepped small caphouse to NE over stair, slate
roofs.
INTERIOR: Newel stair in NE angle lit by slit windows. Usual
vaulted cellarage to ground. Hall to 1st with depressed-arch
presses flanking fireplace. Most internal doors with
roll-moulded jambs.
HOUSE: built 1721-3 by John Selchrig, mason of Cairn; the
contract specifies the taking down of an old house adjoining
the tower and building of a new residence on the site
re-using as much of the old materials as possible, also
certain alterations to the old tower.
2-storey painted rubble house. N elevation; off-centre
entrance with heraldic panel (now blind) above. 3 ground
floor windows, 4 to 1st (Westernmost now blocked) alternating
with 3 heraldic panels, date 1721 cut in window lintel. S
elevation: roll-moulded door to extreme left (now blocked) 3
ground floor windows and one smaller stair window; 5 1st
floor windows (one blocked). Window jambs painted, mostly
simple chamfer to S ground checked back jambs and re-cut
chamfers. Small-pane casement windows, modern aluminium
framed 2-pane plate glass to S 1st floor. End and centre
coped axial stacks, end skews, skewputts, slate roofs.
INTERIOR: superficial alterations including blocking of
fireplaces. Original kitchen to E, with large fireplace and
oven, stairs originally to E of centre gable, now renewed.
GATEHOUSE: probably late 16th-early 17th century work similar
in style to upper works of tower. Rubble-built gatehouse set
in W wall of courtyard. Round-arched roll-moulded gateway
with decorative corbel bands, depressed-arch pend behind with
rebuilt voussoirs to E. Corbel course over arch, heraldic
panel (Royal arms) flanked by small shot-holes. Bands of
miniature chequered corbels at eaves. Sandstone skews and
ridge, slate roofs. Access from courtyard originally by
wheel stair, now by rebuilt straight stair. Loft possibly
originally dovecot.
COURTYARD: high rubble wall with sandstone coping. Uncertain
age, much rebuilding and incorporating pieces of earlier cut
stones.

Statement of Interest

The towerhouse, gatehouse, 18th century house and courtyard

form an outstanding A group. The gatehouse in particular is a

unique and important example of its type. The surviving very

precise contract for the construction of the 18th century

wing adds to the importance of this building.

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