Orchardton is the only round tower house in Scotland of its era, although there are at least 23 in Ireland. It is situated in Galloway, post code DG7 1QH. The nearest town is Dalbeattie.
The tower is thought to have been built for John Cairns. The land was originally owned by the Douglases, but is likely to have been confiscated from them when they were toppled from power by James II in 1455.
The builder may well have come from Ireland – then as now much there would have been a great deal of contact between Dumfries and Galloway and Ireland.
The tower house is in fact quite narrow, and much of the accommodation would have been in an attached building that now only exists in a few layers of stone above ground. The tower is now a shell, but there is a spiral stairway which allows the visitor to walk to the top. Like many tower houses for defense the entrance door was on the first floor.