Monday, January 30, 2012

Twynholm Motte, Twynholm

Twynholm Motte
Dumfries and Galloway

It's taken three visits to this tiny village to find the motte, and now that I've finally discovered where it is, I can forgive myself for not finding it earlier. The motte is very badly damaged and so hidden from view as to be almost invisible. 

The motte lies to the North West of the church, hidden behind a line of cottages and shielded from view by a tin shed partially built into the side of the motte. A small wall has been built into the West side of the motte, to enable a path or track to circumnavigate the base of the mound.

Above. View of the motte from Kirk Brae.

The motte most likely dates from the late 1000s or early 1100s, and stands to a height of around 20 feet, and overlooks the Kirk Burn, for which it may have been built to guard a ford.

Above. Another view from Kirk Brae.

Above. View of the motte from across the gardens of the nearby cottages.

The motte summit measures around 47 by 38 feet, and has been truncated and damaged. In fact local documents tell us that the summit has, in the past, been used as a pet cemetery and a garden.

Above. View of the foot of the motte and the low wall built into the base.

The landlord family during the 13th century would have been the de Twynholms, headed by Walter de Twynholm, who was also Sheriff of Wigton and Chancellor and Clerk of Scotland in 1327 and was a confidante of King David of Scotland, regularly appearing in Royal records. 

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