The Barony of Clugston

How Large was the Barony of Clugston?

When the Barony was sold in 1810:

The LANDS and BARONY of CLUGSTON, comprehending CLUGSTON, BARNHILL, KILLADEM, CROSHREE, BORLAND, INCHMALLOCH, GAS, CRAIGDOW, and MINDORK, now let at the yearly rent of L742 8s upon leases, the greater part of which expire with the lives of the present tenants.
The above lands hold partly of the Crown, and partly of subjects superior, and the teinds of the whole are valued.” — Caledonian Mercury, 1810.11.15

In 1816 it was described as consisting of the farms of BORELAND, CLUGSTON AND MILL, BARNHILL, CRAIGDOW, GASS, UPPER MONDORK, NETHER MONDORK, and CROSSERIE, 3751 acres and in estimated rent to L1670 19s 6d. The estate is also capable of great improvement, being almost entirely in a state of nature and from the great extent would form a desirable investment for capital, with the certainty of a progressive increase as cultivation advances. — Caledonian Mercury, 1816.2.15

This indicates that the Barony was the lower third of Kirkcowan. Was it always the same size?

Barony of Clugston 1832
(The Barony of Clugston. From John Thompson’s Atlas of Scotland, 1832. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.)

In 1406, Closerath and Drumdowle in the Barony of Clogstoune were granted to Joneta Makgillumquha.

In 1499/1500, Patrick Clugston sold land which included a mansion: “Apud Striveling, 14 Feb. REX confirmavit PATRICIO CLUGISTOUN de eodem, et heredibus ejus, — 4 mercatas terrarum antiqui extentus de Bordland, cum molendino earundem, 3 mere. ant. ext. de Gas, cum mansione earundem, 1 mere. ant. ext. de Drumdowle et Knokcoile, 1 mere. ant. ext. de Berclawane, 1 mere. ant. ext. de Lochcregauch, et 1 mere. ant. ext. de Cragdow, vic. Wigtoun; – quas idem Pat. personaliter resignavit”

It is difficult to be certain of the location of all these features, but notice that none of them are called “Clugston”; “Clugston” refers to the entire barony.
“Bordland” means “Border-land”, it encompasses the north-east region of the Barony, including the Motte and probably everything north of it to Tarf Water.

Gass is a large area south of Mindork Castle, extending to Clugston Loch. South of it is Craigeach (part of the parish of Mochrum); east of it is Craigdow.
“Drumdow” is southwest of Mindork Castle (part of the parish of Mochrum), “Knocketore” is north of Drumdow (part of the parish of Old Luce).
There is also a 1512 reference to the “3 merklands of Crossere in the barony of Clugstoun”; this is north of Loch Clugston.
If “Drumdow” is genuinely “Drumdowle”, it means that the Barony of Clugston included all of the parish of Kirkcowan south of Tarf Water.

The farm of Gass could not be the mansion; it was described as an “indifferent cottage” in 1848.

In the 1684 Parish Lists, Kircowan is the Barony of Urle, the Barony of Sleudinle, the Barony of Lochroule, the Barony of Craiglaw, Culvennan’s land, plus some ungrouped places at the beginning. These places are:
Nethermindork; Overmindork; Croshery; Gasse; Craigdow; Barwhill;Killaddam; Borland; Myln of Glougston; Barnegort; Lochcraigoch.

Most of the places are easy to identify on the 1846 map. The exceptions are Barwhill (because there are two places in the Barony called “Barwhill Hill”!), Lochcraigoch, and Barnegort. But they can be easily found in this map from 1654.

Barony of Clugston 1654
(Joan Blaeu, Atlas of Scotland 1654 Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.)

“Barnagoirt” is south of Mondork, north of Gass. It might be what is called “High Mindork” in the 1846 map. “Barwhill” is near Killaddam.
Loch Clugston is marked as “L. Kragoch”; “Kragoch” is on the south side of the Loch. Lochcraigoch is probably the farms “High Clugston” and “Low Clugston”.
In 1848, the Loch was part of High Clugston farm.

Lands which Patrick Clugston gave up:
In 1499, #1
Bordland – 4 merkland
Gas – 3 merkland, with a mansion
Drumdowle and Knokcoile – 1 merkland
Lochcregauch – 1 merkland
Berclawane – 1 merkland
Cragdow – 1 merkland

In 1499, lands which Dunbar obtained:
Derregill, 12 merklaand
Mondork, 7 merkland
McKies-Crossery, 3 merkland
McKauchee-Crossery, 3 merkland
Barquhill, 3 merkland
Cragdow, 1 “one acre of Cragdow the property of Clugston above the 5 merkland of Craghauch in the barony of Mochrum”

In 1500:
Gass, 3 merkland, with a mansion
Bordland, 4 merkland, with a mill
Lochcregach, 2 merkland (This consists of Berclawane 1, and Lochcraigoch 1)
Drumdowill and Knockowill 1
Cragdow 1

Sir Alexander Stewart, fifth of Garlies, was born ~1507. His second wife was Margaret Dunbar, heiress of Patrick Dunbar. The Barony thus passed into the ownership of the Stewarts.
Their third child, Margaret, married Patrick McKie of Lurg.
Their firstborn Alexander Stewart, of Garlies ~1527-1571 married Katherine Herries. After he died she married John Wallace of Dundonald.
Alexander confirmed a grant of lands of Barquhill of Clugstone to Alexander Gordon, son of William Gordon of Craiglaw.

Their son, Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies (d 1597.10), is mentioned in the will of Petir Clugston. He had sasine of Clugston in 1576.

Ordnance Survey descriptions
Crosherie was “a low slated cottage house? indifferent and offices and a farm of about 330 acres”
Gass was “an indifferent and thatched cottage with outoffices and a large farm of land attached. the farm is chiefly mountain ground”.
Inchmalloch was “a small and very indifferent cottage (thatched) and in bad repair with a cow house and a few acres of land”
High Clugston was “a farm house and office all in good repair having 950 acres of land attached 100 acres of which is Rough Rocky ground”
Spittal Mill was “an oatmeal mill”.
Spittal was “a house and office in middling repair having 90 acres of land attached”

Craigdow was “a farmhouse” (by 1840 it had been joined onto Gass farm)

Fort on Doon Hill

Doon hill (next to Boreland) was “A considerable hill the surface of which is cultivated [pencil: arable land] the brow? is of an oval shape its summit commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. There was formerly a fort (or something resembling it) on this hill which gave rise to the name Doon.”
Fort on Doon Hill: “This is the remains of an ancient fort. It is now under cultivation and the outline of it is much defaced so as to be scarcely visible particularly on the north side. The inhabitants speak of it as being of some strength at some very remote period.”

There are several named hills in the region:
Drumbeg (on Drumbeg farm), Knocknacor (on High Clugston farm), and Meikle Crag (on High Clugston farm) Bank Hill (on the farm of Low Clugston, named for “a bank which a stood on its summit “but is now defaced”), Gorty Hill (on the farm of High Clugston), Knockcocher Hill (on the farm of Neorch?)
Loch Clugston is also part of the farm of High Clugston.

Uchtred McKie bought Crossery from Patrick Dunbar in 1512. He had evidently been living there in 1499.

In the 1684 Parish Lists, Kircowan is the Barony of Urle, the Barony of Sleudinle, the Barony of Lochroule, the Barony of Craiglaw, Culvennan’s land, plus some ungrouped places at the beginning. These places are:
– Nethermondork, Overmondork, Croshery, Gasse, Craigdow, Barwhill, Killaddam, Borland, Myln of Glougston, Barnegort, Lochcraigoch

In the Ordnance Survey Map, in “Low Mindork Moss” is a place called “Clugston’s Grave” which is very close to “Mondork Castle (site of)”

Drumdow is on the far side of High Mindork. So, the site of Castle Mindork must have been part of the Barony of Clugston.

Dereagill is in Kirkinner, directly to the south of Barwhill. So, it appears that the Barony of Clugston comprised the entire bottom third of the parish of Kirkcowan, and was more than ten square km in area.
In 1684, 98 people lived in the Kirkcowan part, and 37 lived in Dereagill.
In total, there were about 10000 people living in Wigtownshire. So the Clugstons owned about 1% of Wigtownshire.

In 1562.9.2, Hector Dunbar of Clugstone signed a promise to preach the gospel. The Church of Scotland had only begun in 1560.

In 1681, the Laird of Clugestoun paid 25 pounds in tax. For comparison the total for Wigtownshire was 698 pounds. The richest laird was the Laird of Mochrum Park (ie, the Dunbars) who paid 53 pounds.

Mindork Castle

This castle was possibly the ancestral home of the Clugstons.

One paper claims that the name “Mindork” comes from the Brittonic word “Maen” (stone) and referring to a standing stone (Paper by Daphne Brook).
But the Ordnance Survey Books of 1845-1849 state that it is “Moine dorch”, Gaelic for “black bog”. It was indeed surrounded by a peat bog which the villagers of Kirkcowan used for fuel. The first part could also be “Monadh” meaning hill.

From the Wigtownshire Ordnance Survey Books 1845-1849 (available at Scotland’s People,

Other modes of spelling the same name: Old Castle
Authority for those other modes of spelling: John McKie, Will Matthewson, Geo McHaffie Esqr.

[Situation] On Wood Hill about 1 3/4 miles SE by S of Craighlaw.

This name applies to the site of an old castle on Wood hill & farm of Low Mindork of which little or nothing is known except that some of the oldest inhabitants in the locality says that it had been a castle or fort in ancient times probably the residents of some of the lairds during the feudal system. it is situated in a very lonely and sequestered part of the country a short distance to the north is the grave of a man that hanged himself on a tree on Wood Hill about 80 or 90 years ago.

[In pencil]: Do these people give reasons for believing it to have been a Castle or fort?

[The next paragraph was written on top of the pencil]
Mr J McKie states that he remembers to have seen a good part of this castle standing, and some beautiful cut stones in its corners and in the window frames. Mr McKie is 70 years of age. Tradition also asserts that a laird named Dunbar held possession of it at one time, but he getting indebted to one of the Earls of Galloway he shut himself up dreading an arrest but was finally taken and confined in Wigtown Prison where he died.

A small arable hill upon the farm of Low Mindork – on the hill is the site of an old castle.

Clugstons Grave
Authority for those other modes of spelling: Wm Matthewson Peter Kevan Geo M Haffie Esq

[Situation] 1 3/4 miles SE by S [South East by South] of Craighlaw. A grave situated in a moss in the farm of Low Mindork about 80 years ago a man named Mathew Clugston committed suicide by hanging himself & was buried here.

OS1/35/44/25; OS1/35/44/27

In 1830, the late Captain Robert McKerlie obtained an account of the last possessor of the tower from James Hannah, the venerable tenant of the farm, then in his 80th year. He stated that the last laird had become indebted to the Crown in certain duties (more probably fines) which he was unable to pay. The Stewarts, with or without authority, harassed him, with the ultimate view of obtaining the property. For safety, the laird went into hiding at the Spittall of Bladenoch, trusting to a friend, who, however, betrayed him. The laird was seized and barborously used, even to having his beard set on fire and entirely consumed. He was then taken to Wigton, and locked up in the jail, where he died. The body, not being interred, was allowed to waste away, whereby a quantity of salt in an adjoining apartment was rendered useless.–P.H. McKerlie, “History of the Lands and Their Owners in Galloway”, Vol. 1 (1906)

In 1484 Uchtred McDowall was owner of Mindork, and in 1494 Uchtred McDowall of Mindork was required to pay costs to the Sherrif.
Thomas McDowall was born in Mindork around 1500.

When James IV confirmed the endowment by Mr William McGarve, Vicar of
Penninghame, of a chaplain for the altar of St Mary and St Ninian in the parish church in 1495, the charter was witnessed by Patrick MagKee of Cumlodan (parish of
Minnigaff) , Uchtred Makdowell of Mindork (Kirkcowan), Rankin Mure, and
Norman McCulloch of Torhouse (RMS ii 2273) (cited in, page 58)

Uchtred McDowall inherited Mindork in 1560. He apparently married Catherine Herries, the widow of Alexander Stewart of Garlies, owner of the majority of the Barony of Clugston.

The mansion was not large enough to be drawn as a castle in Pont’s map of 1590 (published 1654).
The nearby castles were Barnbarroch Castle to the southeast, and Mochrum Castle to the southwest.

More discussion about this castle.

There are two surviving wills from inhabitants of the castle.
1576.11.19 Agnes Kennedy, Lady Mondork, spouse to Alexander Gordon of Grange CC8/8/4 [Testament Testamentar and Inventory]
1594.3.11 Dame Katherene Hereis. Lady Gairleis, spouse to Uchreid McDowgall of Mondork CC8/8/26 [Testament Dativ]

The will of Elizabeth Knox, wife of Johnne Welche and daughter of the reformer John Knox who founded the Presbyterian Church, lists Uchtred McDowgall as owning 66 pounds to her. (

West of the Barony, the land gets very wild. There are a couple of small farms (Knocketie, later merged into Anabaglish (“a small thatched farmhouse in bad repair”)


This was the main other location occupied by Clugstons prior to 1600 (there was also Fergus Clugston in Whithorn).
Castle Cascreugh is on the old military road. Dirvairds is the next farm to the south of it, on the newer road which passes though the Barony of Clugston.
Dirvaird is shown on the 1590 map as “Dyrboird”.

Carscreach was originally owned by the Monastry of Glenluce. It was owned by Patrick Vans in 1552. Patrick Vans and his spouse Elizabeth Kennedy were given sasine of Carscreugh and Dirvairds (and other farms) in 1569.6.15. This was confirmed by the Abbot of Glenluce in 1572.4.14. In 1595 there is a sasine granted by John, Earl of Cassilis to Patrick Vans and Elizabeth Kennedy, for infefting the lands (including Carscreugh and Dirvairds) with a tower. Carscreugh then passed to John Ross, who died in 1642. But, Alexander Clugston had sasine of Dirvairds in 1606.

In 1635 Patrick Vaus was imprisoned because of debts. He relinquished Cascreoch, Dirvaids, Glenhoule, etc to James Ros of Balneill. In August 1623, Sir John Vaus had had consigned the lands of Cascreoch, Glenhoule, etc [Dirvaids is NOT in the list] to Gilbert Ros, father of James. James Ros planned to sell the lands immediately to pay the debts.

In 1684, Jon Mcbyde, Jon Mcdouall, and William Clugston were in Carscreuch.
On 1682.7.13, John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, had sasine of Carscreuch. Dirvaird passed to the Earl of Stair on 1698.12.1, along with many of the surrounding farms.


Wood of Darvaid: 2 miles SW of Dernaglar Loch. “An ordinary farm house with outbuildings with a farm attached consisting of 250 acres. 2/3 of which is rocky or heathy pasture a small portion arable the remainder peat moss or bog.” (“Dair” = “Oak”).
White’s Croft (Ruins): 1 1/2 miles W of Dernaglar Loch. “A small house with a small plot of land adjoining.”
Flow of Dergoals: 1 1/2 miles W of Dernaglar Loch. “A large tract of moss. Shared between the three farms Wood of Dirvaird, Dirvaird, and Dargoals.”
Darvaird (or Dervaird, Dirvaird, Derverd, Derveird) “A farm house one storey high, slated and in good repair having bad office houses and a farm of land attached the greater portion of which is arable”

Carscreugh: “A house 2 stories high and slated with suitable office houses and a farm of 600 acres 1/10 of which is arable the remainder is moorland and rough pasture”.

Neighbouring Areas

In 1684 there were several Clugstons north of the Barony, around Barhoish in the Barony of Craiglaw in the Parish of Kirkcowan.

Barhoise farm: “An indifferent low thatched cottage with bad out offices and about 200 acres of land”
Barhoise mill: “A corn mill erected in 1827. There is a dwelling house and out offices attached, the latter in bad repair”
Kirkland: “A small thatched cottage upon the farm of Kirkland which is now divided into seven small tenements”
Low Edrig/Eldrick/Eldridge: “A middling farm house with out houses and a farm of land attached”, but this is at the far north of Kirkcowan, very far from the Barony.


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