From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Ardwell Motte

Dumfries and Galloway
54°46'07.3"N 4°56'38.3"W
NX 1071445506

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Ardwell Motte is a Norman castle located in the grounds of Ardwell House, close to the pond along an escarpment overlooking the village of Ardwell, in the Rhins, Dumfries and Galloway.

All that is left of the motte is the mound and part of the defensive ditch. It is thought that the bailey is located to the north of the mound. The site was chosen for the view across Luce Bay and the natural defensive escarpment to the east.

Scotland was invaded by William the Conqueror in 1072, as a clamant to the throne fled to Scotland. Edgar Atheling was sheltered by King Malcolm III, who then married Atheling's sister. William met his fleet of ships at Abernethy. Malcolm then submitted, paid homage to William and surrendered his son Duncan as a hostage, beginning a series of arguments as to whether the Scottish Crown owed allegiance to the King of England.

The Normans went into Scotland, building castles and founding noble families that would provide some future kings, such as Robert the Bruce, as well as founding a considerable number of the Scottish clans.

King David I of Scotland, was instrumental in introducing Normans and Norman culture to Scotland, in1124. He spent time at the court of Henry I of England, he offered land for help in wresting the kingdom from his half-brother Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair.

The process was continued under David's successors, most intensely of all under William the Lion. The Norman-derived feudal system was applied in varying degrees to most of Scotland. Scottish families of the names Bruce, Gray, Ramsay, Fraser, Rose, Ogilvie, Montgomery, Sinclair, Pollock, Burnard, Douglas and Gordon to name but a few, and including the later royal House of Stewart, can all be traced back to Norman ancestry.