"Virtut - Paret - Robor"

The Burgh in Free Barony of Strathaven

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The History of Strathaven Castle

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The First Castles


A Norman family called Baird in the early 13th century built the first “Strathaven Castle”. This castle is thought to be built on the same site as the other three, which is bounded on three sides by the Powmillon Water.

Strathaven at this time was little more than a small keep defending a small number of homes, farms and a chapel.


Later on, the land and the castle became property of the Douglass family and at that time, the leader was Sir Archibald Douglass, known as Archibald the Grim. It is known that the Douglas’s rebuilt the keep and put the keep to castle status, thus Strathaven Castle is born.


The new structure consisted of a five-story building with walls ten feet thick and a battlement that topped the walls, which went five feet higher than the roof. The castle was surrounded by an outer wall four feet thick and had thirteen turrets at equal distances apart.


When the house of Douglass rebelled against James II, by grace, the King of Scots, and lost, Archibald was executed for high treason, not long after he had a royal charter granted to the town.


Once Archibald Douglass was executed, King James raced to Strathaven at the head of a powerful army and attacked, ransacked the castle and the town as well as other various Douglass strongholds.


Following the sacking of Strathaven Castle, the Barony, royal charter and the reduced-to-rubble castle were given to Sir Andrew Stewart who later became the 1st Lord of Avondale (Today’s Lord is Unknown). He immediately set about having a new castle built.


Now, Strathaven was more impressive than ever. The new castle had two large towers and opposite corners, five storeys, vaults, a Lord’s private hall on the 1st floor and all accommodation above that. Like the last castle, it had impressive battlements and eight turrets as well as a large outer wall, which surrounded the majority of the village and had an impressive gatehouse and main gate at