Lochore Castle (Inchgall), Fife
Lochore Meadows Country Park, Lochgelly
Lochore Castle is a 14th century ruin built on an earlier Norman castle that was once an island within the loch, long since drained that now provides a lovely park for the locals.
The castle was once known as Inchgall which means Isle of the Strangers in Gaelic, which shows what the local people thought of their new Norman overlords.
It was once a mighty castle considered one of the strongest in all of Fife, defended with strong round towers in each corner, walls ten feet wide with a wide loch crossed by a defensive causeway.
Today the castle is very ruinous covered in thistles and weeds surrounded by parkland. It takes a great deal of imagination to picture the castle in its hey-day being one of considerable strength set within a loch.
~ History ~
1160 ~ A Norman nobleman named Duncan de Lochore builds himself a castle in order to exert his authority and control his acquired lands.
1290's ~ Adam de Vallance an Ango-Norman knight marries the elder daughter of Sir David Lochore. By this time the importance of the castle in Fife is becoming obsolete. He however strengthens the castle and accommodation with the building of a tower-house.
1500's ~ Round towers are added to the castle to improve its defences.
1656 ~ The Malcolm family purchase the castle from John Edgar.
John Malcolm becomes Chamberlain of Fife.
1665 ~ John's son, also named John, becomes a Nova Scotia Baronet.
Another son, Alexander, becomes a judge with the title Lord Lochore.
1680 ~ John's youngest son, James, is killed at the Battle of Killiekrankie fighting for the Viscount of Dundee. The Battle is fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James VII and against troops supporting King William of Orange, during the first Jacobite uprising. Although a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it has little overall effect on the outcome of the war and leaves their leader dead. The Jacobite forces are scattered at the Battle of Dunkeld the following month.
1780's ~ Sir John Malcolm is appointed British Ambassador to Persia on three separate occasions.
1790's ~ The loch is drained is by Captain Parks with a view to turn the boggy ground into grazing country for his cattle. However, the work proves to be very expensive eventually resulting in Captain Park being declared bankrupt.
1827 ~ Sir John becomes Governor of Bombay. His brother, Sir Pultney Malcolm, is the Naval Commander at St Helena during the imprisonment of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The castle at Lochore by this time has been long abandoned for nearby Lochore House.