History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The castle features a 'Laird's Lug', a secret spy hole built into the back wall of the fireplace in the great hall. By using the Laird's Lug, the lord could eavesdrop on his guests. Notice that there are wide gunholes at ground level, but only small pistol openings higher up. This shows that MacLellan's Castle was part of the transition from medieval domestic architecture, when defence was a necessity, to more settled times, when comfort and luxurious living was more important
Another feature of the castle is the 'below stairs' glimpse into the working conditions of a 16th-century servant.
The mighty fall
The castle was in use for under 2 centuries, but after Sir Thomas's death, his heirs had a hard time making ends meet. The MacLellans ran up huge debts, partly due to unsuccessful investment in the Ulster Plantations. By 1742, the direct descendant of Sir Thomas, a man by the name of William MacLellan, was working as a glover in Edinburgh. By 1752 the castle was reported as being roofless and in ruins. Today, however, the interior is restored and largely complete, with a vaulted kitchen and storage areas below, and a great hall and family quarters above.
A memorial to Sir Thomas and Lady Grissel MacLellan, his wife, stands in Greyfriar's Church, beside the castle.
About MacLellan's Castle
Address: Castle Bank, Kirkudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG6 4JD
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: in the centre of Kirkcudbright, on A711
Website: MacLellan's Castle
OS: NX682 510
Photo Credit: Billy McCrorie, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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