Seventeenth Century Upland Farmers
Bastle houses (fortified farmhouses) are a fascinating historic feature of the borders area and were used by farmers to provide security against border reivers (raiders).
Five bastle houses in Upper Clydesdale and surrounds have been excavated by member of Biggar Archaeology Group.
Windgate House was the first bastle house to be excavated in Scotland. Its discovery was hugely significant as it shows that defensive houses were also needed many miles north of the Scotland-England border.
The model on display in the museum shows a number of features of a typical bastle house:
1 metre thick stone walls, small, narrow windows or arrow slits, a ground floor that housed the cattle, an upper floor where families lived in greater safety. In some cases, this floor could only be accessed by a ladder which would be pulled up at night for extra security.