Myrton Tower, Dumfries and Galloway
~ History ~
1296 ~ The MacCullochs do homage to King Edward I of England following his conquest of Scotland. The three representatives of Clan MacCulloch have their names and seal, along with other clan chiefs, added to the Ragman Roll.
'Thomas Mackulagh, the Count Wiggetone, is the first Gallovidian Scot to apply his seal rendering homage to Edward'. His brothers Michael and William follow in his steps.
1305 ~ Thomas MacCulloch is made Sheriff of Wigtown.
1306 ~ Following Robert the Bruce's coronation as King of Scotland, the pro-Balliol MacCulloch's and their supporters have much of the lands and power stripped from them.
1353 ~ The MacCullochs swear allegiance to King David II of Scotland.
1360 ~ Patrick MacCulloch receives compensation of 100 merks for his clans sufferings and loss of land in Scotland during their staunch support of King John Balliol and through him to King Edward I.
1363 ~ Patrick's son, Sir Patrick MacCulloch, has the family's Scottish lands restored to them by King David II, a final sign that the clan had once more regained the King's trust and favour. The clan are able to put more than 500 warriors into the saddle to protect the coastline from raiders from Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, which is a concern for the Scottish Crown.
1450 ~ The MacCulloch's commence building of a mighty tower at Cardoness.
1471 ~ The unruly and violent 2nd laird, James MacCulloch, is outlawed.
1480 ~ Following a reprieve James MacCulloch is again outlawed.
1489 ~ Thomas MacCulloch, James grandson, besieges the Adairs of Dunskey Castle. Soon afterwards he plunders the castle of his kinsman, MacCulloch of Adair.
1503 ~ Sir Alexander MacCulloch, the King's Master Falconer and Sheriff of Wigtown, who is said "for the greater part of his life...in close, even intimate, touch with the royal circle", from his base at Myrton Castle, torches the Kennedy's fortress of Dunskey Castle.
Married to Marjorie, the daughter of the 2nd Lord Sinclair, and grandaughter of the Earl of Rothes in Moray, the well connected Sir Alexander is often seen travelling to the Orkneys and Shetlands on the king's business to purchase falcons.
1504 ~ King James IV visits Myrton Castle during a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Ninian at Whithorn. The King grants a charter to Sir Alexander elevating the castle to a Barony. He returns seven years later to repeat the pilgrimage.
1516 ~ Cardoness Castle and its lands pass withn the clan to Alexander MacCulloch.
1530's ~ Alexander raids the Isle of Man.
1580 ~ King James VI of Scotland and later I of England, passes the barony to the clans heir, William MacCulloch.
1600's ~ Additional building work is undertaken on the castle.
1622 ~ King Jame I re-grants the barony to doctor John MacCulloch.
1634 ~ MacCulloch of Myretoun is raised to the rank of baronet of Nova Scotia by King Charles I.
1685 ~ Sir Godfrey MacCulloch is convicted of murder. Before his execution by guillotine, he sells the barony to Sir William Maxwell of Monreith. He is to be the last man ever to be executed by The Maiden - the Scottish equivalent of the guillotine.
1790 ~ The castle is abandoned.
East of Port William
B road off A7021
Near DG8 9LB
Myrton Tower is a ruined four storey 16th century L-plan tower house built on a 12th century motte. It was also once defended by a wet moat overlooking the White Loch of Myrton.
Today it is hidden from the road by trees and is covered in thick ivy.
Visiting the main tower house you will also find remains to the castle outer buildings, which once included stables, a chapel, barns, kitchen and bakery, that you can also explore.
Access from the road is via a driveway to a cottage that backs on to the castle grounds. With consideration you can pack on thr road and take the driveway up into the woods where you will find the tower peering through the trees. Once you see this head into the woodlands towards the tower in order to respect the privacy of the family who live in the cottage.