Castle of St John

Charlotte Street




NGR - NX 059608


The castle stands in the centre of the town. It is now a public museum and is open to the public. For details of opening times, etc., visit the castle website here.

Castle of St John


The Castle of St John in Stranraer was used as a prison for Covenanters in the Wigtownshire area.

The leader of the dragoons at the time, John Graham of Claverhouse, made the tower his base. He was appointed Sheriff-Depute of Dumfries, Annandale, Wigtown and Kirkcudbright from 27 February 1679. In March 1682 Claverhouse wrote a letter from St John’s Tower:


I am just beginning to send out many parties, finding the rebels become secure, and the country so quiet in all appearance. I sent out a party with my brother Dave three nights ago. The first night he took Drumbui and one MacLellan, and the great villain [John] MacClurg, the smith at Moniegafe, that made all the clikys, and after whom he forces have trotte so often. It cost me both pains and money to know how to find him; I am resolved to hang him; for it is necessary I make an exemple of severity lest rebellion be thought cheap here. There cannot be alive a more wicked fellow!


John MacClurg must have escaped from Graham’s clutches, for he was listed as a fugitive in 1684.