Situated on an island in the middle of the River Dee, this formidable castle is only reachable by boat.
Due to access restrictions in place as a precautionary measure while we undertake high level masonry inspections, there is currently no visitor access to this site. Find out more about our conservation work
Now under the care of Historic Scotland, this massive tower house was built in the late 14th century by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway. It became the stronghold of the Black Douglases and still today, round its base you can see the artillery fortification, an innovative defence years ahead of its time, built before 1455 when James II besieged the castle.
Begin your journey to the castle at Kelton Mains farm and from there follow the picturesque 10-minute walk through fields and past woods until you arrive at the shore of the River Dee. Here you will find a small jetty and a brass bell with a rope pull. Ring the bell loudly - little adventurers love this bit - and the boatman will come across from the island to take you to the castle.
Due to the path and steep steps which lead to the boat unfortunately access is unsuitable for visitors using a wheelchair. The castle has steep steps inside and out. Disabled parking is about 1 mile from the boat.
Very occasionally the property has to close at short notice due to adverse weather conditions or other reasons out with our control. Please check the Historic Scotland closures page for any unexpected site closures https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/check-for-closures/. You can also follow closure tweets from @welovehistory using #hsclosure. Alternatively please call the site before setting off to check they are open.
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