Colzium Castle Wall

The Ruins of this castle lie 100 metres north of Colzium House at the point where the driveway turns sharp left to eventually meet with Tak-Ma-Doon Road.  All that remains of the Castle today is part of a wall which now forms the gable wall to the adjoining cottage.  Prior to 1214 when the Earl of Lennox gifted extensive lands to his sister Eva it is suggested that a Motte was in the area of Colzium.

A motte – and – bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep located on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed court yard or bailey, surrounded with a protective ditch and palisade.  Relatively easy to build with unskilled, often forced labour but still a formidable structure.  These castles were built across Europe from the 10th Century spreading across Normandy, France and into the Roman Empire.  The Normans brought the design into England after their invasion in 1066 and it spread over Wales and into Scotland.  Motte – and – Bailey castles in Scotland during the 12th and 13th centuries.  By the end of the 13th century these castles were replaced with alternative designs of protection however the earthworks for them remain as a significant feature throughout Scotland.

Colzium Castle itself was an unusually large “L-Plan” Tower House placed on a platform above the Colzium Burn.  This was built by the Livingstons of Callander to replace the Motte at Castlehill in the mid fifteenth century

Constructed from roughly dressed stone, an engraving dated 1575 was found in the ruins suggesting it was built or extensively modified at this time.  The basement is said to consist of a vaulted chamber while the upper levels are presumed to be a hall and accommodation.

Prior to a carpark being constructed on the site a “rescue dig” was carried out in the spring of 1978.  This revealed the ground plan of the Tower House and a substantial hall house being added in 1575.  In the Courtyard of Colzium house there is a large stone tablet bearing the Livingston Linlithgow coat-of-arms, which once adorned the hall house

The castle was demolished by William the third Viscount Kilsyth in 1703 just prior to his accession to the title.