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Author Topic:   Drochil Castle.
posted 06-03-2006 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Targer     Edit/Delete Message
Can anyone provide further info on what Drochil castle might have looked like if it was finished. Even info on the 3rd and 4th floor plan would be helpful. Also any idea of the roof lines?

Aiken Drum
Senior Member
posted 06-03-2006 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aiken Drum     Edit/Delete Message
Drochil as you have said was never finished, as James Earl of Morton was executed for his part in the murder of Lord Darnley before he completed it. Drochil although titled a castle was actually referred to by the Earl as his palace, and so lacked many of the features of fortification one might expect in a castle this size.
It was never finished, and so any plans for the higher floors would purely be conjecture. This is a even more relevant point given that Drochil had a unique plan, and only roughly conformed to the Z-plan, since it's corner towers were uncharacteristically small compared to others.However there are clues as to the roofline.
There is a peculiar form of corbelling apparent and noted by MacGibbon and Ross who suggested that the turrets which this would have supported were in the same style as those at Heriot's Hospital in Edinburgh. The castle is also described as a double tenement, although in Drochil's case rather than having a dividing wall the full length of the castle, a corridor fulfilled this function. It is likely therefore that the proposed plans for the upper floors would have followed a similar plan, simply since the weight bearing walls would have to continue to the top storeys, and the walls of a central corridor would be the obvious choice to fulfil this function.
They surmised that the roof space was intended to contain an Attic (as opposed to a garret).
The conclusion would naturally be then that the roof was of the standard inverted V form with gables at either end, probably crow stepped as was common in late medieval scottish architecture.
It is possible that as with other double tenement forms of slightly later date that the roof in section would have produced an inverted VV form, however this would have given less attic space, and Drochil was a little to early for such form. In addition, such a form would have required a central weight bearing wall to take the weight of the roof.
You can see a picture of Heriot's Hospital/ now School at http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/1_edin/1_edinburgh_calotype_club_album_2_26_geo rge_heriots_hospital.htm

[This message has been edited by Aiken Drum (edited 06-03-2006).]

posted 06-03-2006 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Targer     Edit/Delete Message
There is an interesting print in Stuart Reid's "Castles and Tower Houses of the Scottish Clans" (reproduced from another source) showing remains of the upper floor levels. This adds to the info in MacGibbon and Ross. Possibly that other source could provide a bit more info.

Aiken Drum
Senior Member
posted 06-04-2006 05:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aiken Drum     Edit/Delete Message
Go to http://www.murrayofstanhope.com/photos_images.htm

The Murray of Stanhope site has a bibliography page, and if you contact the webmaster he may be able to tell you where to access the source of the illustration.

[This message has been edited by Aiken Drum (edited 06-04-2006).]

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