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MacLellan's Castle

MacLellan's Castle Scotland

Sir Thomas Maclellan built his castle in the 16th Century on the site of a ruined monastery given to him in 1569. He was also granted the lands and fortress of Castledukes in 1577, and it is thought that he used much of the stone from this site for building his castle. Although Maclellan's castle was not planned for defence, as fortification was no longer necessary at this time, it is a notable example of late 16th Century domestic architecture. Above the entrance doorway are heraldic carved panels bearing arms and initials. Inside, the ground floor contains vaulted cellars and a kitchen in the north wing with its fireplace and sink still in evidence. From the entrance, the main staircase leads to the great hall with its adjoining rooms. Additional stairs starting from the first floor gave separate access to the second floor rooms and continued up to the third floor, which is now mainly ruins. There is a tradition that some of the rooms were never used and the structure is said to have been roofless since 1752, but no evidence has been found of these reports. Not far from the castle on its eastern side is the site of the Old Greyfriars kirk, containing a quaint monument erected in memory of Sir Thomas Maclellan and his wife.

The tomb was placed there by his son Robert, later first Lord Kirkcudbright, as his father, who had been Provost of Kirkcudbright, was granted the special privilege of burial within the kirk. Robert Maclellan, who succeeded his father in 1597, spent little time at the castle. His son Thomas was a great soldier, fighting in the Wars of the Covenant and commanding a regiment raised at Galloway at his own expense, and he too was but rarely to be found at the castle. In fact, the expense of these adventures drained the family fortunes and the estates never recovered. In the 18th Century Maclellan's Castle, which had stood empty for some time, passed to Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardton and in 1782 the walls were sold to the Earl of Selkirk.

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