Scheduled Monument

Drumcoltran Castle (Tower)SM90100

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: castle; tower
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 86963 68296
286963, 568296


The monument comprises the 16th-century towerhouse of Drumcoltran, and a small area of ground associated with it, which is a property in the care of Historic Scotland. The monument is being re-scheduled as no adequate documents can be traced from the time of the original scheduling.

The tower is now situated among farm buildings, reflecting the later medieval arrangement of ancillary buildings within an associated barmkin. The L-shaped tower rises to three storeys and an attic, with a straight-coped corbelled parapet. The stair tower is a storey higher without a parapet and terminates in a small watch-chamber. This projecting wing appears to be an addition to an oblong tower of possible mid 16th-century date. The main doorway lies in the re-entrant angle and is defended by a gun-loop. Above the door is an empty heraldic panel surmounted by a rustic platitude couched in Latin. The inscription reads: 'Keep hidden what is secret; speak little; be truthful; avoid wine; remember death; be pitiful'.

Drumcoltran, in common with many of the towers in this area, was built by a branch of the Maxwell family around 1570; the ownership of the estate passed to the Irvings in 1668. The Maxwells were responsible for the construction of the existing farm steading and contemporary alterations to the interior of the tower in the 18th century.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described, which is the same as the area in the care of Historic Scotland. This area measures some 19.7m NW-SE by 13.6m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map.



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Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Drumcoltran Tower

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Related Designations


    Designation Type
    Listed Building (A)

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Drumcoltran Tower and farmhouse, looking north, on clear day with sunshine.

Printed: 21/02/2019 08:28