Castle Stewart (or Calcruchie)
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Not to be confused with Castle Stuart in Invernesshire
Castle Stewart is the area which lies a little to the north of the
Wigtownshire town of Newton Stewart, which
Sir William Douglas of Castle Douglas
purchased from the Stewart family and changed the name to Newton
Douglas. When Sir William's venture failed in Newton Douglas, the name
reverted to Newton Stewart and is that to this day.
|View from the west, c1912; Copyright RCAHMS
Castle Stewart was visited in 1911, and the following report was
made. This was confirmed following a visit in 1976.
remains of a probably 17th century castle situated on a non-defensive
site and built on the courtyard plan with, at the NW angle, a square
keep with rounded corners built of rough blocks of granite and
greywacke. Its roof has been saddle-backed with gables at east and west
ends. The parapet wall and west gable are ruinous and the whole building
is threatened by ivy. The keep appears to have been built independently
with no access to the buildings on the south and east which are now
fragmentary rising to a maximum height of only 3'. Although the castle
is said to have been built by Col Wm Stewart in the 17th century its
plan and general character are suggestive of an earlier period.
George Stewart, 8th Earl of Galloway was a captain in the East
India Company’s service, on the staff of General Clavering. On his
return to Scotland, in the early part of the 19th Century, he purchased
the estates of Castle Stewart in Wigtownshire (from William Douglas) and
St. Fort in Fifeshire.
In 1787, the architect Robert Adam was instructed to build a new
house for William Douglas. These plans not carried out.
John Fraser wrote a letter to Charles Guthrie Esq (Factor). He sent a
plan & specification of Ersich (Ersock?) House and asks if it is
intended to accept his plan for Castle Stewart House.
Gilbert Douglas had the tenancy of the farm of Glenrassie in Castle
Stewart in the parish of Penninghame, Wigtownshire, during 1679, 1684,
1704 & 1711. He was born 28/09/1648 and was taken prisoner at the battle
of Bothwell Bridge, following which he was released but suffered great
losses at the hands of the victors. It is said that Gilbert was
descended from William Douglas who had the lands of Carsnestock in the
Moss of Cree, from Archibald, Lord Douglas, known as Black Archibald
(D&G.N.H.&A. Society 25/03/1921).
Gilbert's son, William, was
born in Moss of Cree in 1668 and died 14/10/1745. He married Grizzel
M'Keand who was born in Penninghame in 1670 and died Oct., 1741. They
were the parents of Sir William Douglas of Castle Douglas (as above) who
died unmarried 13/09/1809. Sir William had five brothers, James, John,
George and Samuel, all wealthy merchants.
A John Douglas (1796-1832) of Castle Stewart was an early settler in
America. His memorial headstone is in the Monocacy Cemetery in
Beallsville, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA.
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