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Cove House


(Dunskellie Castle, Dunskelly Castle)

Cove House
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cove House

A mansion, estate and caravan park in E Dumfries and Galloway, Cove is located on the left bank of the Kirtle Water, a half-mile (0.8 km) west of Kirkpatrick Fleming. The present house was built in 1844 around a two-storey laird's house which dates from 1680. Dry rot in the roof timbers brought about their collapse in 1972 and most of the house lay in ruins until a restoration undertaken between 2005 and 2008, which has converted the house into three holiday apartments.

The house stands on the site of Dunskellie (or Dunskelly) Castle, home of Sir William Irving who was Robert the Bruce's standard-bearer at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Eight years earlier, Irving is said to have given refuge to Bruce, who hid from the English in a cave on the estate. This cave is now a tourist attraction.

Dunskellie Castle passed to the Johnstones in the early 16th Century. In 1593 Sir James Johnstone of Dunskellie pursued a large force of Maxwells into the streets of Lockerbie, killing 700. As a result, the Johnstones lost their land and Dunskellie was torn down.

Cove Quarry was known for its fine building sandstone.


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