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The Medieval Period (1100AD - 1499AD)

Castles

Comlongon Castle, from The Antiquities of Dumfries and its Neighbourhood Collected and Drawn by John McCormick

Period:
19th Century
Description:

Comlongon Castle was built in the early 1400s by the Murray family, descendants of the Earl of Moray, standard bearer at the Battle of Bannockburn.  Due to its location in the Scottish/ English borders, Comlongon was involved in many feuds during the Middle Ages.  With 14 foot thick walls and measuring 50 feet square and 70 feet high, it was built of pink dressed sandstone with rubble insert on a wide plinth base, to act as a strengthener on what was once marsh ground.  The castle lapsed into disrepair in the 17th century, but in 1880 was restored and extended by the Earl of Mansfield.  During World War I, Barnardo's occupied the building and for two decades it housed orphans.

 

This page of the sketchbook shows Comlongon Castle.  These sketches of various buildings in and around Dumfries were mainly compiled through McCormick's own study of the area and by speaking to those who remembered the buildings, as the majority of them were no longer in existence or in a ruinous state by McCormick's time.  The drawings are all in pencil with extensive written notes.

 

Inscription:

 

"Comlongon Castle built in the 14 Century.  The Defences of the Solway were the following Towers, 1 Sark Foot, 2 Dornoch, 3 Annan, 4 Newbie, 5 Comlongon, 6 Caerlaverock Castle - Thus is the most perfect Theefs Hole on all The frontiers it was the Den of the Murrays of Cockpool, now Earls of Mansfield in the Kingdom of England."

Materials/Media:
pencil, paper
Dimensions:
length 33mm, width 40.5mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.19.10
Digital Number:
DMFA012n
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council