Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 85190 99214
285190, 599214


Composite courtyard-plan castle with square angle towers;

mid/later 16th and intermittent 17th century additions and

alterations culminating in 1679-89 re-modelling - probably to

design provided by Robert Mylne - forming Renaissance

mansion, with elaborately ornamented north show front and

regularised openings: James Smith superintending architect,

William Lukup, master of works. Angle towers 5 storeys,

recessed linking ranges 1 storey lower.

Courtyard and north elevations all pink ashlar with

pedimented openings; remainder rubble-built with ashlar


North elevation: stepped roofline; main entrance at head of

horseshoe stair (latter a replacement by Howitt, circa 1860)

in richly-carved projecting square bay (carving by Peter

Boyse and Cornelius Van Nevern) cupola over latter surmounted

by Ducal Coronet; arcaded, vaulted and balustraded terrace

(vaulted arcade possibly incorporating or re-using earlier

work) fronts ground floor under terrace running full width;

front hall (originally open loggia) glazed 1813 by William

Elliot; apices to pedimented windows touch cill or break into

band course above; giant Corinthian pilasters to inner bays.

3 remaining elevations comparatively plain with most windows

altered indicating some change in floor levels; some blocked

openings, including 2 gun ports (? in earliest existing

fabric) at east; corbelling and balustrades at wall heads,

uneven rope-moulding and irregularly placed spouts; angle

bartizone to towers with asymmetrically placed openings,

quatrefoils, or set in quatrefoil panels. Canted balcony to

south (? by Smith) and steps with fine wrought ironwork by

James Horn of Kirkcaldy (outer flights of steps possibly by

Howitt), sundial by Thomas Wynne of London, 1692. Courtyard

at principal floor level with stair turret in each angle

inscribed with variety of dates. Ornamented leadwork;

corniced stacks (some not original, some rebuilt).

Principal roofs shallow-pitched, turret roofs bell-cast - all


Interior: Alterations including circa 1930 renovation, eg in

original dining and drawing rooms and picture gallery, but

many 17th century features remain, including some panelling

(though mostly re-arranged); some wooden carvings possibly by

Grinling Gibbons; state bed chamber said to be unaltered,

with fine panelling and hanging tapestries; grand (timber)

stair (1696-7) with barley-sugar balusters; some ceilings by

William Burn. Ground floor vaulted;

Cellar in south east tower.

Walled court to north with square end pavilions (originally

bell-cast), balustrades and banded square piers; long

flanking blocks and 2 parallel coachhouse/stable ranges

extending to west mostly by William Burn and William


Garden terraces and ornamental urns; latter ornately carved,

white marble, with ashlar bases.

Statement of Special Interest

Courtyard-plan castle with skewed south range and n.w.

corner tower shown on plans dated 1608 and 1615 was largely

built for 7th Lord Drumlanrig (d.1578); 1618 scheme proposed

rebuilding south range and adding corner towers (executed

with some modifications): note on one plan suggests that Sir

William Bruce may have advised on design. Closely related to

Holyrood, particularly in treatment of main elevation.

Other architects associated with Drumlanrig include John

Erskine, Earl of Mar, Edward Blore, John Smallwood, Peregrine

Cust, Charles Barry and J Laird. Sir G G Sott built a chapel

within the courtyard - demolished circa 1930.

Besides the pavilion blocks to the north, there was formerly

a further 4 ogee-roofed pavilions (by Smith) placed around

the house (shown on David Lowe's plan, 1738-see SRO RHP

9459); also gatepiers to north with Douglas crest and iron

railings; lead statuary originally adorned north elevation.

Plan in VITRUVIUS BRITANNICUS shows quadrants linking

northern to southern towers and balustrades linking main

stair to flanking pavilions. Peter Rae. notes (circa 1740)

that the ground floor was vaulted for service use "excepting

that part of the front which is reserved for a chapel".

Burrel's tour (1758) (NLS MS2911 p.7b) notes of Drumlanrig

"... they have whitewashed 3 sides of it...". Owned since

1388 by the Douglas family and their representatives (now

Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry).



Bibliography in NMRS; also copies of plans 1608-20th century.

S.R.O. GD 224 NRA(S) 1275 (RHP 9677 - volume of plans,

elevations and views - now held at Drumlanrig) C.T. Ramage,

DRUMLANRIG & THE DOUGLASES, 1876 pp.6-10 and 397-411

(includes mention of an architectural model of Drumlanrig)

Campbell, VITRUVIUS BRITANNICUS, vol. I, 1715-25. plates

37-8. DRUMLANRIG CASTLE n.d. (Guide book) Peter Rae Ms. Copy

in Ewart Library, Dumfries) Country Life August 1960.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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