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A house of the McCullochsCardoness Castle is a fine example of a Scottish tower-house castle. It was built in the later 15th century as the fortified residence of the McCullochs. They were a prominent Galloway family, who rubbed shoulders with royalty. But they were also noted for their lawlessness, even against their own. In 1501, Ninian McCulloch of Cardoness was prosecuted for breaking into a barn and stealing 1,500 assorted beasts – the property of his own mother!
A family homeCardoness Castle was built primarily as a family residence for a well-to-do Galloway family with aspirations. The McCullochs were already substantial landed gentry in Wigtownshire by the time Gilbert McCulloch acquired Cardoness, probably through marriage, around 1460.
A family homeCardoness Castle was also built with defence clearly in mind. The tower’s walls are 2.5m thick, and the window openings are mostly small. The ground floor walls are pierced by gunholes that look like inverted keyholes. This form of defence, for use with new-fangled hand-guns, was introduced to Threave in the late 1440s.