Threave Castle

Threave Castle takes no prisoners (well actually it does, in its dank prison pit) – it’s a proper fighting castle. The holes at the top are for wooden hoardings, or battle platforms, from which defenders could rain missiles and boiling liquids down on anyone mad enough to attack. It was built by the Black Douglases, in particular by Archibald ‘the Grim’, and the feeling you get while visiting matches its creator’s moniker. The little tower and wall in front of it is possibly the first purpose-built anti-artillery defence in Scotland, a bulwark against royal forces who hunted the Douglases after the infamous Black Dinner in 1440. It’s on an island, and you take a 30 second ferry to get to it. Managed by Historic Environment Scotland.