Galloway: About 3.5 miles north-east of St John’s Town of Dalry, on minor road 2 miles north of A702, on islet in Lochinvar.
Ruin or site NX 656853 OS: 77 DG7 3XJ
Lochinvar Castle consists of the ruins of a rectangular tower and traces of other buildings. The island is now submerged after the water level of Lochinvar was raised. The place is marked as ‘Loch in Barr’ on Blaeu’s map of Kirkcudbright.
The lands of Lochinvar were originally held by the Balliol Lords of Galloway, but passed to the Gordons in 1297, who had a castle here until at least 1640. John Gordon, Lord of Lochinvar, was Sheriff of Edinburgh in 1487, and Sir Alexander Gordon of Lochinvar was slain at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Sir James Gordon of Lochinvar was one of those who murdered Thomas MacLellan of Bombie during a feud, just outside St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh’s High Street in 1526. He managed to escape punishment but was slain at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 fighting the English. John Gordon of Lochinvar was forfeited in 1568 for supporting Mary, Queen of Scots, although the sentence was reversed.
In the 16th century the Gordons of Lochinvar removed to their larger castle of Kenmure. The Lochinvar branch of the family became Viscounts Kenmure in 1633. William, 6th Viscount, was a Jacobite and was captured after the Battle of Preston in 1715, and he was beheaded the following year. Kenmure Castle remains an impressive ruin.