Torwood Castle, Torwood

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Torwood Castle
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 83590 84368
Location Type
HS Reference No


3-4 storey L-plan tower house with a short wing set at right angles to the main block. The small square tower which sits in the re-entrant angle contains the entrance, which is framed by a moulded doorway with a decorative panel and carved shell motif. A large courtyard with a well is situated to the North.

The main building of the castle is assumed to have been built in the years around 1566 on the basis of an inscribed stone found in the vicinity, and now in Falkirk Museum. It was the home of the Forrester of Garden family, who derived their name from their hereditary role as royal foresters. The estates passed to Lord Forrester of Corstorphine in 1635, and it is thought that it was he who reconstructed the rectangular forecourt of ancillary buildings on the north side of the castle. The castle is particularly remembered as the place captured by the Earls of Angus and Mar in 1585 as they prepared to take Stirling castle (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
1566; 16th century; 17th century

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
January 1995, 14/09/2009, 20/06/2011, 10/3/2015, 15/08/2019
Development History
November 1994: SCT receives property details from John Kirkhope Chartered Architects, who are acting on behalf of the owner. It is reported that the owner now wishes to dispose of the Castle whilst retaining 1 maisonette within the restored hallblock. January 1995: External inspection reveals the castle to remain a roofless shell. It was recently struck by lightening. Plans are being prepared for the rebuild of the courtyard range and the gatehouse. A Listed Building Consent application is currently under consideration. April 1995: John Kirkhope indicate that they are no longer acting on behalf of the owner, who has stated he no longer wishes to sell. June 1996: The owner reiterates to SCT that the Castle is absolutely not for sale. April 1998: Following the death of the owner his executors establish the Torwood Castle Charitable Trust. Several archaeological investigations are undertaken by Falkirk Archaeology Service. April 2000: Local planners are unaware of any change.
June 2003: Torwood Castle Charitable Trust confirm the Castle remains in the management of Trust and is not available for sale. A new architect for the Trust was appointed in 1997 and the Trustees also take advice for consulting civil engineers.
September 2009: The castle is featured on Historic Scotland‘s Castles Initiative and is noted to have been de-scheduled.

External inspection reveals that the boundaries of the structure are unsecured. The property is roofless and some of the walls are in very poor condition. Set to At Risk
June 2011: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
10 March 2015: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
2 October 2015: The Torwood Castle Charitable Trust advises the charitable trust is no longer extant and that a recent act of vandalism has resulted in a number of the crowsteps from the South gable being dislodged.
23 August 2018: A member of the public advises they met the owner of the property who stated he wishes to stabilise the structure with a view to re-roofing the main block.
15 July 2019: External inspection finds the building remains ruinous. Wallheads are unconsolidated in the main and dampness is notably evident to the northern elevation, where vegetation is establishing. The inner skin of the courtyard wall has collapsed in a section - the outer remains extant but with significant mortar loss and daylight can be seen through it in places. Doors are sealed with metal sheeting, the surrounding vegetation appears to be under management generally but is starting to encroach the courtyard wall. Scaffolding seen on previous site visits to the interior of the E gable appears to have been removed. From what could be seen through the windows, tarpaulin is protecting some internal wallheads. Risk level raised to moderate due to ongoing dampness & condition of boundary wall.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01324 504715


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Torwood Castle Charitable Trust
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Scottish Castles Initiative:
Jaques (2001), pp70-71.
Online Resources
Castles, Palaces and Fortified Houses
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit