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.
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
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
Greyfriars Church contains the burial aisle
of the MacLellan family.
1577 - Construction of MacLellan's Castle
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
1649 - the third Lord Kirkcudbright was
defeated at the Battle of Lisnagarvey in
Ireland, resulting in the family loosing their
1742 - the MacLellan's moved the last of
their belongings out of the castle as the roof
1912 - the castle was taken over by by
Historic Environment Scotland so the remains
could be preserved to serve as a visitor