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main image Threave Castle, Kirkcudbrightshire
Threave Castle belonged to the powerful Douglas family. It is an example of an early defensive tower house dating from the 14th century.

Here, as elsewhere, the access door was above ground level, for security. Internal floors were either wooden or of arched stone construction. There was little ornamentation. Walls were of great thickness with few openings to admit light, but several from which arrows could be fired. Missiles could be dropped on attackers from a projection on top of the building.

Stone tower houses of this kind first appeared in the 12th century. They were still being built up to the 17th century – though in a more domestic style. They are a common feature of the Scottish landscape.

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