Torwood Castle

(Torwoodhead Castle)

A partially-restored L-plan tower-house in the N of Falkirk Council Area, the A-listed Torwood Castle (once also known as Torwoodhead Castle) is located a half-mile (0.8 km) southwest of the village of Torwood and 2 miles (3 km) northwest of Larbert. Built around 1566 for Sir Alexander Forrester of Garden, whose family had been created the hereditary keepers of the nearby Royal Forest of Torwood by King James III, the property passed to the Baillies in the early 17th Century and then the Forresters of Corstorphine in 1653.

The castle comprises a three-storey main block with a five-storey wing projecting northwards from its western end and a square stair-tower in the angle between the two. The main block includes a basement, with a wine cellar and kitchen. Above is the main hall, which features a fine fireplace. The north wing includes the entrance, guard-room and main staircase. The subsidiary buildings around the courtyard, which were added in the 17th century, have now largely gone. The possibility of a 17th-century garden has been suggested.

In 1957 the ruin was acquired by Gordon Millar, a Glaswegian accountant, who single-handedly set about restoring the castle over the next forty years. The restoration was slow and it remains far from finished although his work has ensured the stonework has been stabilised. Following his death in 1998, the property was given over to the Torwood Castle Trust, a charity intended to continue his work.

An old Roman road passes the castle immediately to the north and, a half-mile (0.8 km) to the north northwest, is Tappoch (or Torwood) Broch.

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