Scheduled Monument

Drumcoltran Castle (Tower)SM90100

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


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.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

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 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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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

Printed: 23/04/2024 16:07