Orchardton Tower is
unique in Scotland, being the only example of a cylindrical tower-house. It is solidly built of
granite, and the rock foundations are bared at one point.
On the ground floor is a vaulted cellar, entered through an
arched doorway. An external stairway leads to the first floor. The present door was originally
a window, with the original entrance being rather low.
Within this chamber is a decorative aumbry or laver and carved
stone, both thought to have been taken from an abandoned abbey like Tongland or Dundrennan.
This room may have been converted into a private chapel. The great hall was located over the
ruins to the east.
Orchardton was built for John Carnys (Cairns)
around 1456. Ownership passed through an heiress in 1633 to the Maxwells, the most famous of
which was Sir Robert Maxwell, an ardent Jacobite who was captured at Culloden. He is featured
in Scott’s Guy Mannering.
Orchardton Tower Map&Location
Approximate Geographic Coordinates: 54.876857, -3.845274
Directions: A711, Dumfries and Galloway DG7, UK
Orchardton Tower in a larger map
Orchardton Tower Photos
Click on the images to enlarge
The Orchardton Tower
Orchardton Tower grounds
Orchardton Tower courtyard
Orchardton Tower and its grounds