Castles & Towers
Castles & Towers
Castles were introduced in Scotland from the time of King David I, when he began to establish the feudal system by granting large tracts of land to his high ranking nobles in return for military service. David granted much of the Renfrewshire area to Walter Fitzalan, his High Steward and he, in turn, parcelled out portions out to his own supporters, establishing important local families in the area. To protect and administer these lands they began to build castles. The earliest constructions would have been small buildings, possibly of a motte and bailey design, consisting of a wooden structure built on top of a raised mound or motte, and surrounded by a palisade.
There is evidence of early medieval castles and fortifications such as Corslie Castle in Giffnock/Thornliebank. Its location is unclear but it may have stood near Wood Farm Sport Hall, or possibly near Woodlands Park.
Another castle was likely to have been sited at the top of Beechgrove Park on Clarkston Road. From the summit of this unassuming slope you can easily see why it would have been an ideal position, as it gives clear 360 degree views of the surrounding areas.
There is no doubt that East Renfrewshire’s best example of a castle is the 15th century Mearns Castle, which still stands today. Built as a tower house, it is most definitely defensive in design. Another remarkable castle, although sadly no longer standing, was Pollok Castle, again in Mearns. This castle was rebuilt several times, with the last being built in 1886 after a fire had destroyed the previous one. However it is likely a castle had stood on this site as far back as the 12th century.