The remains of a 14th century tower stand atop a mound at the east end of what was known as 'Inchgall Loch'. Its adjoining northern and western ranges which have long since collapsed as has the surrounding outer barmkin wall which had four corner towers probably added in the later 15th or early 16th century. Before the loch was drained at the end of the 18th century, the castle would have essentially stood on an island – perhaps one formerly occupied by a crannog or a motte and bailey castle of a simpler timber construction although no evidence has been uncovered for it. The castle would probably have been reached by a connecting causeway or by small boat.
The entrance to the castle was on the north-west through an arched doorway. This is interesting because it meant one would have had to traverse around the castle from the causeway on a narrow and precipitous path on the North side of the island in order to reach the main door (the topology of the site suggests that there was no room for a path to the south side of the castle). This may have been an intentional defensive measure or simply a means to impress visitors.
I have illustrated this reconstruction of Lochore “Inchgall” Castle at around 1547. The castle was originally the island fortress of 13th century Scoto-Norman Knight, Adam de Vallance. Around the beginning of the 15th Century the heiress of Lochore married Sir Andrew Wardlaw who later became the 1st Lord of Torrie and the castle eventually passed to the Wardlaws. The name “Robertus de Wardlaw” (Robert Wardlaw) was apparently inscribed above the doorway of the main tower. He is said to have “made considerable additions to this castle”, possibly in the 15th century.
The Castle now is a very ruinous and until recently, neglected site at the entrance to Lochore Meadows Country Park. These reconstruction illustrations are part of an effort to interpret the castle’s history commissioned by Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. My reconstructions are based on archaeological investigations by Dr. Oliver O’Grady with some additional input from Piers Dixon and Peter Yeoman of Historic Environment Scotland, and the Scottish Castles Association.