After spending most of the day in Kirkcudbright, I continued on my way to my next lodging in Crossmichael, a small village just a couple of miles north of the town of Castle Douglas. Just before the turn off for Crossmichael, I came upon the exit that leads to Threave Castle so I made a quick detour and was greatly rewarded. Although it was late in the day and they would be closing soon, I had just enough time to visit!
It was about a 15-minute walk through the countryside out to the site of the castle sitting on an island.
I turned the final corner on the path and there it was! Beautiful.
The castle sits on an island and the only way to get there is by boat. How fun is that?
I rang the bell provided and the boat was on its way to pick me up.
Soon I was in the boat and on my way with Scott, one of my guides. I was the last visitor of the day and had the place to myself!
He holds significance to me because he was my 17th great grandfather through my dad’s mother! He was quite the guy; being born a bastard son of James Douglas rose to become the Earl of Wigtown consolidating his power over the whole of Galloway, the first time under one man since 1234. In 1369, Archibald had been appointed Lord of Galloway by King David, “becaus he tuke git trawell to purge the cuntrey of Englis blude”. Archibald’s conquest of Galloway was depicted on his seal, which depicts two “wild men” holding up his arms.
Below is what it may have looked like in its day.
Let’s go inside and start exploring…
Around the corner of the inner court shown above, I went around the outside of castle clockwise.
There would have been a “gate” on this opening in the fence from the river which also allowed the water to circulate around the front of the castle in the mote.
Let’s climb the stairs to the front door and go inside now…
The opening below connects to the river, ensuring a fresh water source inside the castle.
There was the prison (or dungeon) as well. Sure wouldn’t want to end up there! No windows – no nothing!
Now we’ll head upstairs to where the great hall and living quarters were.
Below is the view from the castle looking back at the path I followed down to the dock across the river from the castle.
I imagine this hole in the wall above was probably a safe hold. There are holes on the left side that probably held hinges to an iron door.
Below left is a view of up the chimney of the massive fireplace and on the right is a gorgeous view looking west.
My time is up and I need to return to the dock, join my guides once again and make the last trip of the day back to the ‘mainland.’
It was a wonderful experience and my guides were superb. At left is Cat, and a very interesting woman who also enjoys dressing up as a Viking warrior at various Viking reenactments all over the United Kingdom.
Hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did. My next stop is Crossmichael. Tomorrow I will visit Threave Gardens in Castle Douglas and also share with you the “brilliant” time I enjoyed at the pub in the Thistle Inn on quiz night!