Threave Castle is situated in Dumfries and
Galloway southwest Scotland, 53 miles east of
Stranraer, 22 miles southwest of
Dumfries, 2 miles west of Castle
Douglas with good signs from the main A75
The Castle has a small entrance fee, open
1st April to 31st October: 10am to 4.30pm -
3.30pm in October. Threave
Gardens and Mansion are also on the same
estate, about 1 mile south.
There is a walk just under 1 mile from the
car park and visitor centre to the castle, then
a short boat trip to the island in the River
Dee. The upper floors may be closed when birds
of prey are nesting in the castle.
Threave Castle was built in the 1369 for
Archibald the Grim Douglas, shortly after he
became Lord of Galloway.
The mighty Douglas Clan, some referred to as
the Black Douglases, are thought to have
originated from the Netherlands, first showing
in Scotland records in the 1170s.
The Douglas fought for Scottish kings and
gained vast areas of land throughout
Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway for their
bravery in battle.
1455 - King James II declared war on the
Douglas as he was informed they were planning
to have him assassinated so they could gain the
throne of Scotland themselves.
The forces of James II attacked the Douglas
Strongholds including Threave Castle. They then
awarded the castles and land to loyal followers
of the king.
Threave Castle was used as a Royal Castle at
1500s - Threave Castle was awarded to the
1540s - the castle was captured by the
English forces of Henry VIII and held for a
1640 - a Royalist Garrison was besieged by
Covenanters at Threave Castle during the
Bishops Wars, as Scots fought to prevent the
King becoming head of their churches.
Damage to the castle at that time led to it
1800s - Threave Castle was used to hold
French prisoners during the Napoleonic
1913 - Threave Castle was taken over by
Historic Environment Scotland to be preserved
and to serve as a tourist attraction.
2009 - Ospreys began nesting close to the
castle with an Osprey viewing area close to the
2016 - Peregrine Falcons began nesting in
the castle leading to the upper floors being
closed to visitors during nesting months.
Buzzards are also seen in the area, with all
three birds having about a 4 foot wingspan, but
there are ways to tell them apart from a
Peregrine Falcons feed on other birds so can
be seen stalking birds.
Ospreys feed on fish so can be seen flying
over water and swooping down to pick up
Buzzards feed on small mammals, and have
been known to take small dogs. They normally
glide slow high in the sky and swoop down on
prey on land.
The bottom image is of the Hall with the
vaulted ceiling and a well for when the castle
was besieged for months.
The castle had five floors. There was also
around 20 buildings on the island and a small