Inventory Garden & Designed Landscape

CASTLE CAMPBELLGDL00089

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
31/03/2007
Local Authority
Clackmannanshire
Parish
Dollar
NGR
NS 96116 99187
Coordinates
296116, 699187

A formal terraced garden dating from the 15th to 17th century, with sublime 19th-century glen walks. Together with the architectural features, this landscape forms a spectacular composition, and makes a major contribution to the surrounding scenery. The designed landscape is also of outstanding nature conservation value.

Type of Site

A 15th–17th-century formal terraced garden with sublime 19th-century glen walks

Main Phases of Landscape Development

15th–17th and 19th century

Importance of Site

A site included in the Inventory is assessed for its condition and integrity and for its level of importance. The criteria used are set out in Annex 5 of the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (December 2011). The principles are represented by the following value-based criteria and we have assigned a value for each on a scale ranging from outstanding value to no value. Criteria not applicable to a particular site have been omitted. All sites included in the Inventory are considered to be of national importance.

Work of Art

Value
Outstanding

The terraces and picturesque and sublime qualities of the walks in Dollar Glen give this site outstanding value as a work of art.

Historical

Value
Outstanding

The recorded history of the site and the historic interest of the terraces give the site outstanding historical value.

Horticultural, Arboricultural, Silvicultural

Value
None

There is no garden or collection of plants at Castle Campbell, therefore the site has no horticultural value.

Architectural

Value
Outstanding

Castle Campbell and the accompanying terraces have outstanding architectural value

Scenic

Value
Outstanding

The landscape setting of Dollar Glen and the enveloping Ochil Hills give Castle Campbell outstanding scenic value.

Nature Conservation

Value
Outstanding

The site is an SSSI of outstanding biological and geological interest. The woodland is of ancient and long-established origin. Overall, the site has outstanding nature

Archaeological

Value
Outstanding

The castle and garden terraces with the potential for garden archaeology give the site outstanding archaeological value.

Location and Setting

Castle Campbell is situated to the north of Dollar at the end of a minor road in Dollar Glen. The castle lies on the steep north slope of the Ochil Hills at the head of Dollar Glen, on the western flank of Gloom Hill, with the Burns of Care and Sorrow forming precipitous gorges on either side. There are views towards the castle and the Ochils from the B9140. From Castle Campbell there are fine panoramic views south over the designed landscape to the Vale of Devon, Stirling Castle, the Forth valley and Clackmannanshire. The lands of Castle Campbell were formerly part of the extensive Harvieston estate. In 1948, Mr Kerr of Harvieston offered the castle and Dollar Glen to the National Trust for Scotland. Historic Scotland has guardianship of the castle, whilst the Trust cares for the upkeep of the glen. The extent of the designed landscape, which includes both castle and glen, has remained unchanged since 1948.

Site History

Castle Campbell was acquired by the Campbells through marriage and became the lowland headquarters of the Campbell Earls of Argyll. It was favoured for its proximity to the royal strongholds of Stirling and Edinburgh. The early tower house was built towards the end of the 15th century, but the artificial nature of the ground upon which the castle stands suggests a motte-hill, similar to those introduced into Scotland by Anglo-Norman and Flemish settlers in the 12th century.

Colin Campbell, who became 1st Earl of Argyll in 1457, reached the highest offices of state, Master of the King's Household, Justiciar of Scotland south of the Forth, and in 1483, Lord High Chancellor. He was sent as ambassador to France in 1448 to renew the 'auld alliance'.

In 1466, a Papal Bull directed the Church against Walter Stewart of Lorne for his destruction of 'a certain manor with a tower of the place of Glowm situated in the territory of Dolar'. This is the earliest reference to the castle. Originally known as Castle Gloom, it was renamed Castle Campbell in 1489. It remained a Campbell possession until 1654.

Archibald, 4th Earl of Argyll, who fought at the Battle of Pinkie and the Siege of Haddington, is well-known for his conversion to Protestantism. In 1566, John Knox visited Castle Campbell and tradition has it that he preached to the local populace from a rock below the castle which became known as John Knox's Pulpit. This may be simply 19th-century hearsay, and associated with the laying out of picturesque walks in Dollar Glen.

Archibald, 1st Marquis of Argyll, played an important part in the Covenanters' cause. In 1645, Castle Campbell was burnt by the Macleans, a sortie party of James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, but the castle remained in Campbell hands until nine years later and then fell at the hands of Oliver Cromwell. Little is recorded of the building thereafter. In the 18th century, in the Antiquities of Scotland, Francis Grose, described the castle's romantic situation as resembling:

'... one of those described in ancient romances, in which a cruel giant, assisted by a pagan necromancer, kept confined, and enchanted, a number of captive Knights and Princesses. Nothing can be more dreary than the scenes surrounding this building, which is seated on a steep peninsulated rock, between and under vast mountains, which overshadow it, having to the south a view through a deep glen, shagged with brushwood, and watered by a rivulet. From the dreary and solemn situation, this pile was formerly called the Castle of Gloom, and the names of the adjacent places seem analogous to it; for it stands in the parish of Dolor, was bounded by the Glen of Care, and washed by the Burn of Sorrow.'

In the early 19th century, George, 6th Duke of Argyll, sold the castle to Crawfurd Tate of the neighbouring Harvieston Estate. It was sold to the Globe Insurance Company in 1859 and then purchased later from them by Sir Andrew Orr. The Ordnance Gazetteer, 1882–5, describes the castle as 'greatly improved and extended in recent years', seemingly presenting a pleasant picturesque appearance. It was probably the Orrs who created the walks in Dollar Glen which are first recorded on the 2nd edition OS 1: 2500 (25”), 1895. Sir Andrew Orr's nephew, Mr J E Kerr, inherited the property in the early 20th century. In 1948, Mr Kerr offered the castle and the glen to the National Trust for Scotland. Historic Scotland accepted guardianship of the castle and the Trust accepted the glen on the understanding that sufficient money was raised towards its upkeep and improvement. The glen is now enjoyed by the public as a country park.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Castle Campbell is a courtyard castle with a range of stone buildings dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries. The 16th-century south range and hall overlooking the terracing was altered in the 17th century when windows were enlarged. It contains vaulted cellars and a pend to the garden terraces. The east range was rebuilt and possibly remodelled in the late 16th / early 17th century. A two-arch loggia at the base of this range faces the courtyard. The gateway and wall on the western side of the courtyard are also assigned to this period.

The Inventory of Monuments in the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, 1933, dates the two Garden Terraces from the 16th century. They are supported by rubble walls with large, flat coping stones. There are a set of double steps and the remains of a small Circular Tower in the south-eastern angle of the lower terrace. The circular tower has not been dated. It may form part of the earlier defensive structure or be the remains of a gazebo or banqueting house, but is not evident on the 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1859.

At the end of the garden is an archway, thought not to be of great antiquity, which leads to a small oval area with perpendicular sides. This 19th-century addition is known as John Knox's Pulpit, and overlooks Windy Edge Pass and Kemp's Score.

Drives & Approaches

The present approach is via a steep lane from Dollar which loops around to Castle Campbell from the north and fords the Burn of Care. Previously, the old way from Dollar was by a track which crossed the shoulder of Gloom Hill and joined a road running through the hills from Glen Devon. This still exists as a path.

The 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1859, shows the track beyond the ford as being planted with deciduous trees. The 3rd edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1923, shows these all to have gone. The Maiden Tree marked on all the OS maps still survives.

Paths & Walks

With few exceptions, the present paths, bridges and walks around Castle Campbell and the glen are not indicated on the 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1859. The 2nd edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1895, shows an elaborate series of paths and named spots around the Burns of Care and Sorrow to the north and south of the castle, forming a series of picturesque circuit walks of differing lengths. A medium-length walk to the north of the castle along the Burn of Sorrow includes rock-cut steps called Jacob's Ladder which lead to a footbridge over the Burn and then to a viewing point overlooking the Sochie Falls before returning to Castle Campbell. The walks are punctuated by various scenes of natural interest such as the Hempy Falls and Sochie Falls. Kemp's Score or Cutt is a dramatic fissure in the rocks below the castle which can be negotiated by a board walk. Local folk tradition says the cleft was made by a man of the same name who had gigantic stature and strength. Kemp is the folk-name for a giant.

Parkland

There is no surviving parkland at Castle Campbell, but the 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1859, does show that the sloping ground to the west, south and east of the castle was planted with specimen deciduous trees.

Woodland

Dollar Glen Wood is the largest of the semi-natural, long-established woodlands in Clackmannan District. The SSSI description states:

'The upper acid slopes of semi-natural deciduous woodland are dominated by oak with an understorey of birch and rowan and a characteristic ground flora. Lower slopes, enriched with nutrients through groundwater flushing, support mixed valley woodland of ancient origin which is dominated by ash and wych elm.'

Three types of woodland have been identified at Dollar Glen according to the National Vegetation Classification. They are: firstly, ash/elm mixed woodland, along the burns in the steep and rocky areas, with ground flora such as Dog's mercury (Mercurialis perennis), ferns (Dryopteris filix-mas and Dryopteris pseudomas); and secondly, oak woodland, with Pedunculate oak (Quercus petraea), birch (Betula pubescens), and Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella). This type is mainly found on the upper slopes. The predominantly mature Pedunculate oak is assumed to be planted. The ground flora is species poor and dominated by grasses, with ferns common, and bracken in some areas. The third type of woodland is acid oak woodland with Pedunculate oak and birch, concentrated on the east side of the Dollar Burn. The ground flora is dominated by grasses along the top of the more gentle slopes and by rushes and understorey shrubs on the steeper, rockier ground.

The Gardens

The garden terraces at Castle Campbell clearly indicate a concerted gardening effort, although the precise date of the garden is not known. The terraces would have been treated in a formal fashion and one may have been a bowling green. Because of the confined space around the castle, it is doubtful that the garden extended beyond the terraces.

References

Bibliography

Maps, Plans and Archives

Plan of the Estates of Harviestoun, Dollar, in the Counties of Clackmannan and Perth, 1819, Scottish Record Office

1st edition OS 1:10560 (6”), 1861

2nd edition OS 1:10560 (6”), 1901

1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1859

2nd edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1895

3rd edition OS 1:2500 (25”), 1923

Sources

Printed Sources

Groome, Francis – The Ordnance Gazetteer, 1882–5

Grose, Captain Francis – The Antiquities of Scotland, vol II, 1789

Historic Scotland – Castle Campbell, Historic Scotland Guide, HMSO 1953, revised 1994

Historic Scotland, on behalf of the Secretary of State – The Lists of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest

MacGibbon, David and Ross, Thomas – The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, 1892

The New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland – The Inventory of Monuments in the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan, Edinburgh, 1933

Aerial photographs – The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland – All Scotland Survey, 1946

Aerial photographs – The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland – National Survey, 1988

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Castle Campbell

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/castle-campbell

Find out more

Related Designations

  1. Castle CampbellSM13611

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument
    Status
    Designated

About the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

The inventory is a list of Scotland's most important gardens and designed landscapes. We maintain the inventory under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

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Images

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Printed: 21/11/2018 20:59