Torwood Castle and Tappoch Broch

Tappoch Broch
Tappoch Broch
I have Paul at Through the lens to thank for alerting me to this walk – I had never heard of either Torwood Castle or Tappoch Broch before he wrote about them. Not long after I read his post, we set out to explore ourselves.

From the village of Torwood, we headed up Castle Loan to the castle itself which dates from 1566. It’s now in the care of a trust but from 1957 until 1998 it belonged to Gordon Millar, a chartered accountant from Glasgow. He spent all that time renovating the ruin but died before completing his project. I’d say there’s not much left to show for it really! Poor Mr Millar. The cows don’t seem impressed.

We carried on past the castle in search of the Blue Pool, a Victorian brick-lined tank with clear, turquoise water. No-one seems to know what it was used for but the colour is thought to be from the high levels of aluminium sulphate found in the local fireclay.

We then retraced our steps back to the castle and headed up to the broch, one of the best-preserved in lowland Scotland. Brochs are Iron Age dwellings consisting of two concentric drystone walls forming a hollow walled tower with galleries and stairways in between. There’s just enough left to get some idea of that – see the panorama at the top of the post and the pictures below.

From the broch, it was a pleasant walk back through the woods to the car.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks – meet walkers worldwide at her site.


  1. It’s strange to think about an accountant owning a castle. Even one that is a ruin. Really don’t have either of those in Minnesota. Castles and ruins that is. We have lots and lots of accountants. Wonderful pictures. Once again commenting late since I wanted to make sure to look pictures on my desktop instead of just tiny pictures on my phone.


    • Thanks Donna, your comments are always welcome, late or not! As usual, most photographic credits go to John, though I have to say I am a very good director 😉

      I think the owner must have ignored his accountant’s instincts when he invested in this.


  2. What a great walk. The castle does not look like it was ever renovated. I wonder how much money he sank into this castle. It does look like a great ruin. I wonder if that pool was a fountain many eons ago. It seems to have that shape. The iron age dwelling is so neat to see and to use the same steps they used. what a beautiful walk


  3. Great post Anabel. I never visited the blue pool when I went, is it over behind the wall and the trees at the back if the castle?


  4. Good learning curb this week, Anabel! I don’t think I’d heard of a ‘broch’ before (although I do visit Paul’s blog occasionally- I’ll have to recheck 🙂 ). Tappoch Broch sounds like some kind of culinary treat (or not! I thought of tappioca).

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