Killernie Castle

North of Steelend Road
KY12 9TR

Killernie Castle

Archaeological Site


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Killernie Castle

The ruins of Killernie Castle sit at the southwest extremity of Saline Hill. In former days, it seems to have been possessed by the Scott of Balwearie, one of whom was Sir Michael Scott, the renowned knight and wizard. Indeed Killernie Castle used to be known also as the Castle.of' Balwearie. The ruins now consist only of the fragments of two towers, of which the southern is said to be the more recent, and to have borne the date of 1592. There used to be connected with it a large vaulted apartment, which has now disappeared. A strange legend is recorded of this part of the building regarding Lady Scott having commissioned a mason to erect it for her as a summer-house. On completion of the building, Lady Scott, for some reason, refused to pay the mason who took his revenge by murdering her and her child. The legend has the rather gruesome conclusion that as a punishment, the mason was confined in a part of the tower and fed on his own flesh until he died.8

Concerning the name “Killernie” the Old Statistical Account of Scotland of 1791-9, suggests that as Kill and cell are known to be synonymous terms, the name could have derived from “the cell of Ernie”. The Statistical Account also suggests that it follows that Saline Hill could have been named from “Cell-vin”, or the hill where the cell was.

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