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Carsluith Castle and Adjoining Steadings

A Category A Listed Building in Mid Galloway and Wigtown West, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.8594 / 54°51'33"N

Longitude: -4.3468 / 4°20'48"W

OS Eastings: 249464

OS Northings: 554151

OS Grid: NX494541

Mapcode National: GBR HHMV.ZLT

Mapcode Global: WH3V2.64C0

Entry Name: Carsluith Castle and Adjoining Steadings

Listing Date: 4 November 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 342506

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB10104

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kirkmabreck

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Mid Galloway and Wigtown West

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire

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A pair of late 19th/early 19th century former steading pavilions with L-plan steading building to the northwest. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following is excluded from the listing: Scheduled Monument SM90062.

The pavilions are 2-storey structures, rectangular in plan with symmetrical piended roofs (hipped roofs with sloping rather than gabled ends). They stand to either side of Carsluith Castle, positioned forward of the castle's northeast elevation, linked to it by curtain walls. The pavilions are painted rubble with sash and case windows with mixed 12 and 4-pane glazing. There are slate roofs throughout with stone ridge tiles, lead flashings and cast-iron rainwater goods. There is a brick chimney to the west steading pavilion.

Both pavilions have paired arches to the northeast and a single arch facing inwards to the space in front of the castle. The southeast pavilion also has a single arch on the southeast wall. All these arches are now blocked or part-blocked in rubble, but most are pierced by smaller doors or windows.

The southeast pavilion is the former cart house and stable. There is a loft space above that is accessed via external stairs to the rear (south) of the building. The interior was partially seen in 2016. The building is in use as a café and there is no internal evidence of its former use as a cart house. The northwest pavilion is now in use as a dwelling house and has a single storey lean-to to the west.

The building to the northwest is a detached single storey steading range built in the early 19th century and extended to the south in the late 19th century. It is constructed of rubble, is painted and has a slate roof.

The interior of this building was partially seen in 2016. Part of the building is in use as a stable.

Statement of Interest

The former steading buildings at Carsluith are an unusual example of an agricultural complex which is laid out in a formal relationship with an earlier tower house. Their exteriors retain architectural features typical of their date. Their plan form is unusually short complement Carsluith Castle and include it as its centrepiece, resulting in a striking symmetrical composition.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following is excluded from the listing: Scheduled Monument SM90062.

Age and Rarity

The former steading buildings at Carsluith are part of a grouping of estate buildings related to the late 18th century Kirkdale House, which is located about 2.5km to the southeast. The castle at Carsluith was occupied by the Broun family until 1748, when the estate was sold to Alistair Johnston and then later to the Hannay family of Mochrum and Kirkdale. Nearby Kirkdale House was the seat of the Hannay family and was rebuilt to a design by Robert Adam in around 1787-1788. It is likely that the steading pavilions were planned around the castle after this time.

The Ordnance Survey Name Book for the parish (1850) describes Carsluith as the property of Miss Hannay of Kirkdale, comprising a 'large farmhouse and out offices' and the castle as 'situated on the farm of Carsluith', with Hannay as the owner. It may be that the northwest pavilion was the farmhouse described here.

The two pavilions and most of the building to the northwest appear on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1850). The 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed in 1894) shows the northwest building extended to the southwest to form an L-plan. The listed building record written in 1971 suggests the pavilions date to the late 18th century. Gifford, in The Buildings of Scotland, dates them to around 1800.

In the 15th to 17th centuries, small castles and tower houses were typically surrounded by a barmkin, or walled enclosure, containing buildings such as a kitchen, outer hall and stables. The present pavilions occupy a location where earlier ancillary buildings may have been.

These buildings date from around the end of the 18th century, which makes them relatively early examples of Scottish farm buildings. Furthermore, the buildings are unusual because of their symmetrical layout with respect to the castle's northeast facade. The blocked arches on three sides of each pavilion are striking architectural features, and it seems possible that some at least were purely decorative and never open. While there has been some loss to the historic internal fabric, the buildings are unusual examples of their type for their symmetrical layout and architectural features. The way they have been designed to incorporate Carsluith Castle as their centrepiece increases their interest in listing terms.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The interiors of the buildings were partially seen in 2016. The range to the northwest retains the simple interior of a 19th century farm building, with floors paved with setts. The southeast pavilion retains no internal evidence of its use as a cart house and stable.

Plan form

The pavilions have an unusual plan for farm buildings, being relatively short, detached rectangular structures, with arches at the narrow end of each building. Their positioning with respect to each other and the castle is also unusual. The long, rectangular plan form of the northwest building, later extended to L plan, is typical for a 19th century farm building.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The round arches of the pavilions are of good quality and are stylistically characteristic the years around 1800. These features complement the unusual layout of the pavilions, specifically designed to frame, and thus form the setting of, Carsluith Castle. This is an unusual scheme that adds to the interest of the buildings in listing terms.


The setting of the former steading buildings is dominated by the remains of the 15th to 16th century Carsluith Castle, a substantial stone structure with courtyard area to the front. The monument is scheduled (see SM90062) and is in the care of Scottish Ministers. The immediate setting of the group of farm buildings has changed little since the time of construction. The former steadings frame the castle, and stand on a promontory in a commanding position overlooking Wigton Bay to the south, and protected by a natural ravine to the east.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at

present (2017).

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