Clan MacLellan Ancestry
Trees of Life

MacLellan Castle

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Maclellan  Castle
Built by Sir Thomas MacLellan of Bombie, Castle MacLellan is not a castle in the traditional sense but stands in the centre of the town of Kircudbright (pronounced Kirkoobray) in what is now known as the county of Dumfries and Galloway.  It was built on the site of the convent of Greyfriars which had been established by King James II in 1449.  Within nine years of the Reformation Act of 1560,  Sir Thomas, the local Provost, acquired the site and the convent and used the buildings as a quarry for his new house. It was not built as a fortified castle (the gun loops are more a defense against potential robbers and riots rather than an invading army). But it was a house on a grand scale to impress the townspeople of its owners importance and prestige. In 1587 Sir Thomas entertained King James VI in Kircudbright and the king gave him a silver gun which is still in the local museum.

MacLellan's Castle is decribed by Plantagenet Somerset Fry [Castles of Britain and Ireland] as another 'borderline' castle. It could easily be taken at first glance to be an old ruinous mansion, but is closer to the defendable castle category by the presence of 10 gunloops on the ground floor, lack of direct access between the basement and hall, and a spyhole in an inglenook (referred to as the Laird's Lug on the First Floor Plan below) off the great hall. The castle was built in 1582 using stone taken from Greyfrair's Monastery on the property when Sir Thomas MacLellan bought it in 1569. The castle is a large L-plan tower house with two towers in the re-entrant angle and a five story tower on the opposite corner. MacLellan's son Robert was made the first Lord Kirkcudbright in 1633. He successfully gained several land grants in Ireland. Protecting the Irish lands and supporting the Covenanters' cause after 1638 drained the family fortunes