CASTLE BAN MOTTE
Castle Ban is a motte built on the western coast of the Rhins of Galloway overlooking the Irish Sea. Little is known about its history but it was probably raised in the twelfth century either by Flemish /Norman immigrants or by a local Gallovidian Lord seeking to imitate them.
Castle Ban is a motte situated upon a rocky promontory overlooking the Irish Sea. The oval shaped mound stands five metres tall on the landward side whilst the artificially scarped terrain drops almost eleven metres on the western (seaward) side. The motte was originally surrounded by a ditch even on the west where it was maintained by a terrace. There is no evidence of a bailey although one may have existed to the east.
Whilst the western coast of the Rhins of Galloway is littered with Iron Age promontory forts, Castle Ban is clearly a medieval structure. However, little is known about its history and there are a number of possibilities as to who built it. It could have been raised by Flemish or Norman settlers as such men were encouraged to settle in Galloway by David I of Scotland (1124-53) who saw this as a means of bringing the unruly region under control. Alternatively it may have been raised by a native local warlord seeking to imitate this new design of castle. Until the site is fully excavated the truth will remain elusive.
Castle Ban probably had a relatively short life span. There is no evidence to suggest the structure was ever rebuilt in stone. Traces of wall visible on the structure date from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century and were associated with farming activity on the site.
CANMORE (2016). Castle Ban. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
Feachem, R.W (1956). Iron Age and early medieval monuments in Galloway and Dumfriesshire.
M'Kerlie, P.H (1906). History of the lands and their owners in Galloway. RCAHMS, Musselburgh.
Stell, G (1996). Dumfries and Galloway: Exploring Scotland's Heritage'. Edinburgh.
Tabraham, C (2000). Scottish Castles and Fortifications. Historic Scotland, Haddington.
Wilson, G (1885). Description of ancient forts, etc. in Wigtownshire.
Castle Ban is a motte constructed upon a rocky promontory overlooking the Irish Sea. Only earthworks remains.
Castle Ban is located on the coast just to the west of Aires which is just off the B738. On-road parking is difficult but possible at some points along the B738. Alternatively the site can be viewed (but not accessed) from the location shown below.
Castle Ban Motte