16th century
L-plan tower house

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NX 682 510
in Kirkubright
s of A755/A711




Historic Scotland
Undiscovered Scotland
Trip Advisor
Clan Maclellan
Castle Explorer


McLellans Tower

Another brilliant day, and a quick stop into Kirkubright (which I pronounced correctly, much to the surprise of the Historic Scotland guide here) to see this castle and grab some food.

the four story tower and reisdence hall

16th century L-plan tower

Maclellans is a large castle, built on the l-plan (a main block with a projecting wing) in the 16th century. There are two small towers in the re-entrance angle, making this a solid, oddly-shaped castle with projecting wings in two directions. The castle was built in 1582, and part of the change in architecture from purely defensive towers, to more stately, comfortable homes.

The main block is five storeys, but everything else is four storeys. The corners have bartizans, although the roof is long gone. The gables are crow-stepped, or corbie-stepped -- they are notched, like a stairway, a common detail in Scottish building.

From the entrance in the re-entrant angle, a straight stair leads up to the hall, and opens to the vaulted kitchen, which has its own entrance. The hall above has a large fireplace, and stairs to the upper floors.

The hall is subdivided, with a large private chamger on the western end, and a narrow passageway on the weast leads to small chambers in the projecting tower. The private rooms above are similarly divided. There are fifteen rooms in the castle, and the layout of the towers and stairs allowed people to move through the house without having to pass through the main hall or throuth other living spaces. This is quite a change from the "normal" tower house layout, where the stacked rooms kept living spaces small and cramped.

the large fireplace in the hall, and narrow passages beside

Over the door is a plaque dating the castle to 1582, with the arms of Sir Thomas Maclellan and his wife, Grissel. There is little evidence of ongoing additions and restoration - the castle stands today as it was designed originally (or at least, close to its original building date).

an open bartizan and the corbistepped gables -- and flowers!

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