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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sorbie Tower

On Saturday the 28th 0f May 2011,the Clan Hannay Society held their 48th annual clan gathering in South West Scotland.
On Sunday the 29th of May,an open day at Sorbie Tower was held to raise funds for the ongoing restoration.
I decided to take a look.
I borrowed the above picture from the sorbie .net website.It's a reconstruction of how it looked in the late 16th century.

Once through the entrance gate the first thing you see is an information board opposite what looks like a raised green.
In fact what it is, is Sorbie Motte .During excavations,artefacts discovered ranged in date from the 12th to 16th centuries.

Sorbie Motte

Hourly tours were conducted by the very knowledgeable Stephen Hannah.
He said he was still recovering from the night before's 'Ceilidh',at the Creebridge.House Hotel
It didn't affect his knowledge though.

The Tower

A memorial bench to founder members of the Clan Hannay Society

Stephen had mentioned a visit by members of the Sealed Knot society.
Perhaps I missed them but the Old Westmoreland Rifles were in attendance.The initials I.B.W.C.P.
stand for Independent Battalion, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

The wording on the memorial plaque below right declares that Ramsay William Rainsford Hannay of Kirkdale and that Ilk was the first chief of Clan Hannay.In this case the old scots saying 'that ilk' translates to mean that he was 'of that same' (place) i.e Kirkdale of Kirkdale.
Model of The Old Place of Sorbie

Coat of Arms and Memorial to Major Contributors to the restoration. 

Flags from the countries of visiting clan members

Once inside Stephen went through 360 degrees of each floor to explain in detail the use of each of the rooms on the six levels.
He also introduced the bride of the first recorded wedding to take place at Sorbie Tower.
The Galloway Gazette ran the story.
Wedding at Sorbie Tower

Kitchen Cooking Hearth

Inside some of the rooms it's dark and eerie.A group looking into paranormal activities visited in February 2009.You can read their report here. Mostly Ghostly Investigations
Vaulted Cellar,Stairway and Defence Windows

There are quite a few names carved on a number of stones,but many have been etched on by a local stone-smith.He was apparently given a list of known visitors to the tower,and the years they visited.

The last resident was Brigadier-General John Stewart, M.P. for Wigtownshire in the British Parliament of 1707, who held the Old Place from 1695 until his death there on 22nd April 1748 and who is buried in the Old Kirkyard.

A very enjoyable visit and meeting members of the Clan Hannay.
I know a lot more about Sorbie Tower now.


  1. Is it restoration all the way to habitable or just to make it safe for visitors to look around. I'm sure habitable would be just about a total rebuild.

  2. A full restoration is the dream of the clan members I spoke to Sandy.
    According to Stephen it costs £400,000 a year just to stop it falling down.They're hoping to get a roof on it next.
    They believe they can get it back to being habitable enough to hire it out to groups.They've a long way to go.

  3. Anne and I visited the tower about 3 years ago but we have learnt more about it in your blog sitting here in the comfort of our wee abode in Ayr. Another gem from from the old rascal of Newton Stewart.

  4. Thanks for your comment Gordon,always welcome.
    Good weather on the way.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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