CASTLE OF PARK

Castle of Park is a four storey, late sixteenth century Tower House that was heavily modified during the eighteenth century. It was originally built on land confiscated from the church following the Scottish Reformation using recycled stone from Glenluce Abbey. Today it is a holiday home owned by the Landmark Trust.

History

 

The Park of Glenluce was originally church property owned by Glenluce Abbey. However, the Scottish Reformation of the mid-sixteenth century had seen the dissolution of that facility and the land had been granted to Sir Thomas Hay in 1572. A minor nobleman, descended from the line of the Earls of Errol, he had prospered as a Royal official where he had served as secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1560 he had been made Abbot of Glenluce and made a particularly fortunate marriage to Janet MacDowel who was the grand-daughter of Gilbert Kennedy, Second Earl of Cassilis.

 

Construction of the castle was started on 1 March 1590 on behalf of Thomas Hay, son of the original owner. Utilising stone removed from Glenluce Abbey, it took the form of a traditional 'L' shaped Tower House. As was standard in such structures, the Ground Floor consisted of a vaulted store and kitchen whilst the Great Hall was located on the First Floor. Accommodation was on the Second and Third Floors. A courtyard enclosed all the supporting ancillary buildings including brewhouse, bakehouse and stables.

 

The castle was modified in the eighteenth century with its defensible features rendered useless. The small windows were enlarged considerably and the thick curtain walls partially hollowed out to create more space inside (including spacious closets!). Originally two wings were added to the North East and South sides.

 

In 1830 the castle was inherited by Sir James Dalrymple-Hay who stripped the structure of its contents and relocated them to his home at Dunragit. Whilst the wing expansions remained occupied by a local farmer, the castle itself was relegated to a store.  Eventually the whole structure was abandoned until 1949 when the site was taken into State care by the Ministry of Works. The derelict wings were demolished but the Tower itself was repaired and stabilised by Historic Scotland in 1976-8. Now leased to the Landmark Trust, it currently acts as a holiday home.

 

Bibliography

 

CANMORE (2016). Glenluce, Castle of Park. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Coventry, M (2008). Castles of the Clans: the Strongholds and Seats of 750 Scottish Families and Clans. RCAHMS, Musselburgh.

Gifford, J (1996). Dumfries and Galloway. The Buildings of Scotland. Penguin, London.

M'Kerlie, P.H (1906). History of the lands and their owners in Galloway. RCAHMS, Musselburgh.

Maxwell-Irving, A.M.T (2000). Border Towers of Scotland: Their History and Architecture. Stirling.

Reid, S (2006). Castles and Tower Houses of the Scottish Clans 1450-1650. Osprey, Oxford.

Rusk, J.M (1930). History of the parish and Abbey of Glenluce with a historical commentary on the settlement of the Romans in Galloway and the introduction of Christianity into Scotland. Edinburgh.

Simpson, W.D (1959). Scottish Castles - An introduction to the Castles of Scotland. HM Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Stell, G (1996). Dumfries and Galloway: Exploring Scotland's Heritage'. Edinburgh.

Tabraham, C (2000). Scottish Castles and Fortifications. Historic Scotland, Haddington.

What's There?

Castle of Park is a sixteenth century Tower House that was extensively modified in the eighteenth century. The castle has no defensive features remaining and has a very bland appearance. Currently managed by the Landmark Trust there is no access unless rented.

Getting There

The castle is found to the west of Glenluce and accessed from a track off the Old Military Road just before the bridge over the Water of Luce. On-road parking is possible on the Old Military Road.

Castle of Park

DG8 0NL

54.875904N 4.825230W