Threave Castle

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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 road.

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.

Map / DG7 2EH . Area Click On Map . Website . 27 Large Images .

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 that time.

1500s - Threave Castle was awarded to the Lords Maxwell.

1540s - the castle was captured by the English forces of Henry VIII and held for a shot time.

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 being abandoned.

1800s - Threave Castle was used to hold French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars.

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 castle.

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 distance.

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 fish..

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.

Threave Castle Images
 

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 harbour.