The romantic ruin of Dunskey Castle sits on a rocky peninsula at the head of Castle Bay, just south of the seaside town of Portpatrick.
Little is known about this medieval tower house. In its early history there are 14th Century records that mention a medieval fortification on this site. It was plundered and burned in 1489 by Sir Alexander M'Culloch of Myrtoun. All that survives of it today is a defensive ditch on the landward side of the castle.
In 1510 the Adairs of Kinhilt built the core of the castle that we see today. Dunskey Castle is an L-plan tower house built on three levels with a cellar, ground floor and first floor. The defensive ditch left over from the first fortification was complemented with walls built around the peninsula. With the high, rocky cliffs on the seaward side it would have been quite a defensible location.
In 1620 it was bought by Hugh Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery. He extended the castle and added a long gallery-wing to the north. In 1648 it passed to the Blair family, but by the end of the 17th Century it had been abandoned and was already a ruin.
Today this picturesque castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The keep is a ruin, but you can still see how grand a place this once was. Some of the tower and wing's walls are still standing and many of the walls in the courtyard are still visible. A short distance away you can also see the remains of a watchtower.
Dunskey Castle is on the coastal path just south of Portpatrick. Visitors are advised to stay on the path as the surrounding cliffs are slippery and dangerous. No access is possible to the interior of the castle however you can look around the outside of the castle.
Status: Ancient Monument / Ruin
Opening Times: Grounds always open. No internal access.
Dunskey Castle viewed from Castle Bay