This was the fortress home of the Lochore family, established by Robert the Burgundian in c.1128.Lochore Castle was described as one of the strongest castles in Fife in the 16th century.
The tower, built in the late 14th century, was surrounded by a curtain wall with four round artillery towers. Excavations in 2015 found medieval pottery imported from France, fine window glass, and a carved stone shot-hole. Conservation works stabilised the ruin in 2016.
Loch Ore was drained in 1792 with the cutting of a large channel, but originally the castle had stood on an island. This was a Celtic crannog dating to at least the 10th century, the medieval name for which was Inchgall, Gaelic meaning ‘Island of the Strangers’. This name refers to the French knights who took over the site. The castle passed successively to the Valognes family and the Wardlaws of Torrie, in the 15th century.
As part of the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership programme extensive consolidation works were carried out in 2015/16 to secure the future of the building for future generations.
In August of 2015 a three week community dig, led by Dr Oliver O’Grady was held at Lochore Castle, with more than forty community volunteers participating in the excavation and receiving basic training in basic archaeology skills. Over the course of the dig more than forty five secondary and primary school pupils visited the dig site, taking part in site tours, sieving for finds and taking part in creative writing workshops about their experiences at the dig. The Lochore Castle Community Excavation Report 2015 presents the findings of the community dig. The findings of the dig have rewritten the history of the castle, identifying it as the site of the first crannog (man-made island) in Fife.
For further information or to download the Lochore Castle Archaeology Hotspot Leaflet via the Archaeology Hotspot section in our Knowledge Bank.
Listen to an update of the Lochore Castle Community Dig from archaeologist Dr Oliver O'Grady.