Maclellan's Castle

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Maclellan's Castle is situated in Dumfries & Galloway southwest Scotland, 48 miles east of Stranraer, 27 miles southwest of Dumfries, in Kirkcudbright town.

The castle and visitor centre have a small fee to enter, open from 1st April to 30th September, 9.30 to 5.30. You can tour the castle interior and kitchens.

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MacLellan's Castle was built in the 1570s in the centre of Kirkcudbright town, next to the River Dee and harbour.

MacLellan's Castle History

875 - monks from the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne had to flee Norse invaders with the bones of St Cuthbert, and sought sanctuary at Kirkcudbright.

It is thought there was a church above the east side of the town around that time named St Cuthbert's, where the cemetery is today.

A settlement was probably around the area of the present day harbour.

1100s - a castle is built a few hundred yards southwest of where MacLellan's castle stands today, only the mound and foundations remain, next to Castledykes Road.

1449 - Greyfriars monastery is built on the site of the present day MacLellan's castle.

1569 - Thomas MacLellan of Bombie obtained the site of the ruined Greyfriars monastery. Stone from the old castle and monastery were used to build the new castle, only the small chapel was retained, now known as Greyfriars Church.

Greyfriars Church contains the burial aisle of the MacLellan family.

1577 - Construction of MacLellan's Castle began.

1633 - Thomas MacLellan was made 1st Lord Kirkcudbright. He had served time in prison at Edinburgh in his younger years for an affray in Kirkcudbright , and for shooting a relative of the Minister of Kirkcudbright Church.

Thomas MacLellan obtained land in Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster, leading to the family wealth being used up paying for troops to protect their estates in Ireland.

He was also a Presbyterian involved with the Covenanters as Scots tried to prevent the king becoming head of churches in Scotland. He died in 1641.

1649 - the third Lord Kirkcudbright was defeated at the Battle of Lisnagarvey in Ireland, resulting in the family loosing their wealth.

1742 - the MacLellan's moved the last of their belongings out of the castle as the roof was collapsing.

MacLellan Castle Images
 

1912 - the castle was taken over by by Historic Environment Scotland so the remains could be preserved to serve as a visitor attraction.