Mains Castle – New Life

Mains Castle, also known as Fintry Castle, was built in the mid 16th century by Sir David Graham, a nephew of the infamous Cardinal Beaton. It was located on the south side of a tributary of Dichty River known as Gelly Burn, overlooking a ravine and wooded den. The Graham family owned the castle until the early 19th Century.

Mains Castle now falls within the Caird Park to the north of Kingsway which lies on the outskirts of Dundee to the north east. On the opposite side of the burn is the old graveyard of Mains which holds the mausoleum of the Graham family. The park has some lovely paths and is also home to a nine hole and an eighteen-hole golf course.

Mains Castle is a tall and distinctive 6 storey tower castle with a central courtyard. Some of buildings on the western side which formed the courtyard are long gone and most of the buildings were roofless not so many years ago. It has been restored to a great extent and till early 2006 was the venue of a popular restaurant and used for functions such as wedding receptions.

The date 1562 on the keystone of the western gateway was probably when the building of this grand castle was commenced. The horizontal beam of a courtyard door in the east portion has a carved Latin motto with 1582 on it. This was perhaps when Mains castle completed. The large square tower with dressed corner-stones, typical of the 16th century, is unusually spacious.

The northern and eastern portions of the castle were probably occupied by the family, where a very elegant ornamented window is visible near the door. The servants lived in the southern part of the building and the western served for purposes of defense. Above the gateway is a circular turret from where the keepers of the Castle could defend the doorway without being vulnerable to attack. Turrets were probably also erected at the corners of the north wall. The most striking view of the Mains Castle is to be obtained from the western side.

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