Historic Sites and Houses

The Mill on the Fleet

Uncover the history and heritage of Gatehouse at The Mill on the Fleet, a restored 18th century cotton mill.

The Mill on the Fleet is a large exhibition centre in a restored 18th century cotton mill. It hosts an annual programme of temporary exhibitions as well as core displays on the history and heritage of Gatehouse and the Fleet Valley.

Cardoness Castle

Cardoness Castle is a typical Scottish Tower House built in the late 15th century for the McCullochs of Galloway - a prominent and rather lawless family.  The castle is built for defence with thick walls and mostly small window openings and with a double door with ‘murder hole’ above.  The layout inside is typical with the lower two floors used for storage, a well appointed great hall with some very fine surviving features, and above which were the private floors for the family.  The castle also has one of the best examples of a two-storey pit prison.  There is an excellent small exhibition in the custodian’s cottage on the way in.

Anwoth Kirk

The roofless shell of the old parish church of Anwoth, built about 1626.  It was the church of the celebrated theologian Samuel Rutherford minister from 1627-1639 and later Professor of Divinity at the University of St Andrew and Principal of St Mary’s College. 


These impressive neolithic tombs were built in the 4th millennium BC. They are of a form known as Clyde Cairns, characteristic of southwest Scotland. The appearance they have today was never intended as they would both have been topped by a mound of stone which has been long since reused for field dykes and later building.

Carsluith Castle

A typical L-shaped tower house from the 16th century - the walls are largely complete to its full height and is an excellent example of its type.  It is easily accessed off the A75 8 miles west of Gatehouse.

Glenquicken Stone Circle

A stone circle of 28 close-set low boulders. It measures 50 feet in diameter and the centre is occupied by a granite boulder nearly 6' high. A gap between two boulders on the west side suggests one stone has been removed, otherwise the circle is complete. 

MacLellan's Castle

MacLellan's Castle is a ruined late 16th century towerhouse standing in the centre of Kirkcudbright. It is maintained by Historic Scotland.  It is an L-shaped design - a popular Scottish layout and is largely complete to full height although missing many of the upper floors and open to the sky.  Typically the castle has cellars and a kitchen on the ground floor and a fine great hall on the first - including a 'Laird's Lug' - a secret room where the owner could eavesdrop on conversations taking place in the hall.

Dundrennan Abbey

The romantic ruins of this 12th century Cistercian abbey are in the village of Dundrennan about 14 miles from Gatehouse via Kirkcudbright.  The abbey was founded in the mid-12th century from its mother house, Rievaulx Abbey, in Yorkshire.  The layout of the church and claustral buildings can be seen, but it is only really the crossing and chancel of the church that remain to full height. 

Glenluce Abbey

About 30 miles west of Gatehouse near the village of Glenluce are the ruins of the Cistercian abbey of Glenluce founded from Dundrennan Abbey in 1191.  Beyond surviving foundations which clearly show the layout of the complex not much remains of the structure save for the imposing gable of the south transept adjoining the remains of the east range of the cloister.  The main feature of this range is the surviving 15th century chapter house, the vault springing from a central pillar.  The other notable feature is the surviving jointed water supply pipes complete with lidded junction boxes.  

Broughton House and Garden

In the care of the National Trust for Scotland, Broughton House was the home of renowned artist E A Hornel and is a treat for art-lovers and gardeners both - the house is packed with paintings, photographs and sculpture. Visit Hornel’s studio, and discover his love of oriental flora in his beautiful Japanese-inspired garden.