Morton Castle

Morton Castle is an abandoned castle located on the outskirts of Thornhill. It is has occupied a high position in the surrounding countryside since 1307, but may well have been constructed as early as the 1260s.

The castle also boasts an artificially created loch surrounding three sides. The loch was created sometime in the 18th century by building a dam to flood the marshland that previously surrounded the structure.

It is in a similar style to the more famous Caerlaverock Castle, with an unusual triangular rather than square plan.

Figure 1: Morton Castle and Loch, July 2013. © DAJ 2016

Morton Castle has underwent many changes over the centuries and now displays both defensive and recreational features. Examples being a prison pit in the main castle area (still visible today), and evidence of more elaborate features suggesting a more casual use.

It was occupied until the early 1700s, probably serving as a hunting lodge, but much of the fabric of the Castle was removed for other projects.

It is now the property of the Duke of Buccleuch, who has made a number of repairs to retain the current condition of the Castle. It is cared for by Historic Scotland and is a scheduled ancient monument.

Morton Castle overlooks Morton Loch and is a spectacular secluded area for picnics.

Figure 2: Morton Loch, July 2013. © DAJ 2016
Figure 3: Morton Castle, July 2013. © DAJ 2016


The Castle is open year round to visitors, at no cost. Access is along a partially maintained minor road, which is narrow in places.

There are no signposts from major roads, however take the A702 from Carronbridge, by Thornhill, and turn second right. Morton Castle is 1.5km along the road.


Town/Village Thornhill
Region Dumfries & Galloway
Country Scotland
Grid Reference NX8999
Longitude -3.74739
Latitude 55.27464