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- Category: A
- Date Added: 20/07/1972
- Local Authority: Dumfries And Galloway
- Planning Authority: Dumfries And Galloway
- Parish: Inch
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NX 8863 64124
- Coordinates: 208863, 564124
Circa 1570, with later additions; repaired France Smoor, 1983. 3-storey and attic (ground floor vaulted), rectangular-plan tower, measuring 30 feet 9 inches from E to W, and 19 feet 9 inches from N to S. Harled sandstone; polished ashlar dressings. Corbelled parapets to E and W gable elevations; spout holes; terminating angle bartizans; circular gunloops; moulded eaves course to N and S elevations merges with corbelling. Moulded surrounds to windows at upper floors (some renewed).
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 2-bay. Roll-moulded doorpiece to outer right; timber door; gunloop to left of door; remains of a rectangular panel frame aligned above entrance; square panel frame between 1st and 2nd floors; small opening (non-aligned) above; 2 moulded corbels to shute at eaves. Regular (non-aligned) fenestration to bay to left; dogtooth enrichment to 2nd floor window; carved stone of hands holding a head to NE angle bartizan.
S (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-bay. Central timber door (later insertion) at ground; single window at 1st floor (non-aligned); single windows at 1st and 2nd floors to flanking bays (windows to right non-aligned); small round-headed opening to left of centre at 2nd floor; 2 swept dormers at attic (later insertion).
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: single window at 2nd floor to right; openings to gablehead.
W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3 small openings to left at ground, 1st and 2nd floor; openings to gablehead.
Plate glass, 6 and 12-pane timber windows. Steep grey slate roof; rooflights; crowstepped stone skews; gablehead stacks, wallhead stack to N; circular cans.
INTERIOR: not seen 1999.
Statement of Special Interest
Craigcaffie, or Kellechaffe, as it was anciently called, was granted by Robert the Bruce to John, son of Neil, Earl of Carrick, and from him the Neilsons, who built the castle, claimed their descent. The initials and arms of John Neilson and his wife, Margaret Strang (now indistinguishable) resided in the square panel to the N elevation (D MacGibbon and T Ross, p390). Also now indistinguishable are the inscribed skewputts to the N; one bearing the date 1-5-7 (indicating 1570 as the decade for the building's erection), the other repeating the initials IN, MS, with the skewputts to the S bearing heraldic roses (RCAHMS INVENTORY, p18). Previously surrounded by a fosse, the tower's ground floor windows and attic dormers are later insertions, when it was changed from a disused tower to a dwelling house in the 1980s.
J Blaeu's Galbvidiae Pars Occidentalior map, 1654 (evident); THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND (1845), p89; W McIlwraith THE VISITORS GUIDE TO WIGTOWNSHIRE (1875), p105; FH Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND, Vol II (1892), p293; D MacGibbon and T Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1892), pp388-390; RCAHMS INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN GALLOWAY, Vol I, COUNTY OF WIGTOWN (1912), p18-20; Sir AN Agnew WIGTOWNSHIRE: ILLUSTRATED GUIDE FOR VISITORS (1928), p142; John Gifford DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY (1996), p469.
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