Lochnaw Castle

Lochnaw was, for 300 years, the home of the Agnew family, hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway, although the present castle dates back only to the 16th century. The Agnews' earlier residence, situated on an islet in the loch itself (fragments remain), was captured and destroyed in 1390 by Archibald Douglas or "Archibald the Grim". The small tower house was the first section to be built and additions were made in the 17th century, converting the castle first into an L-shape, then U-shape. Later 18th and 19th century additions were demolished earlier this century bringing the castle more in line with its 17th century appearance.

Lochnaw Castle was used as a RAF hospital during WW II

Here is a recent article fromn the Wigtown Free Press about Lochnaw Castle:

Lochnaw Castle, nestling within its own grounds near Leswalt, could soon be transferred to its former glory, all thanks to the boyhood dreams of a Hong Kong lawyer.

Mr Chris Nightingale, the current owner, bought over the castle because he has had a lifelong fascination with medieval castles. Now he plans to spend a "very large sum of money" restoring the castle and turning it into a family home for his wife and three young children.

His lawyers say, however, that the work is at a delicate stage and they do not wish to reveal too much of their plans until work, due to start in the autumn, begins in earnest.

A source said "It is planned to be a private dwelling with access for the public. We are not talking in terms of commercial development".

He added that the extensive woodlands would be managed with some public access, but mostly kept for conservation. [by the way Lochnaw Castle contains the tallest Monkey Puzzle tree in the British Isles!!]

Plans were being drawn up by architects and the last six months had been spent in research work, so that the castle and its extension could be restored and renovated to their original style. "We were even lucky enough to find drawings of plans for the walled garden which go back to 1812".

It is their intention to restore the Victorian gardens as well as the walled garden, which, it is hoped, may also be open to the public. "Really it will be lovely. We are lucky that such a person has bought over this site", a "Free Press" source revealed.

Mr Nightingale, now in his 30s, was born in Scotland, although he works abroad he is keen to return to his native land.

Talks have been on-going with the regional planners in Stranraer and building control, Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, so that the final plans have complete approval and everyone is happy with.

At the moment students from Edinburgh University are carrying out an archaeological dig on an island in the middle of the loch at the castle, but it is not known if the work is connected.

Mr Nightingale, who is not fond of publicity, has made it clear that he does not want to reveal much information until detailed plans are put forward, but he wanted considerable effort put into the research before work got underway.

He is also looking at raising the funds to cover the vast costs of upgrading the Class A listed building and it is thought that the work will be spread over a number of years.

Claims that the castle was to be knocked down and time-share chalets built, were completely discounted by his agent. "There is nothing else behind this. We would not be allowed to knock down the building". He added that rumours and gossip should be ignored, but they were prepared to discuss more details at a later stage.


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