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Culcreuch Castle Hotel

1296 - 1320

The origin of the Galbraiths of Culcreuch, an old Lennox family or “Clan”, is obscure by direct record but association by documentation shows them as the principal family of the name, with branches settled nearby in Baldernock, Kilpatrick and other parts of the Lennox area – with strong castles at Craigmaddie and Gartconnel.

Maldovan (or Malcolm), 4th Earl of Lennox, 1225-1270, granted to Gillemichel, Gillemartyne and Gillecondad, the three sons of Gilmychel, the lands of Bannarad (now Bannachra) along with certain islands in Loch Lomond including Inch Galbraith which became one of the strongest castles of the family, and Culcrewchis which, after the fortalice (the square tower) was built between 1296 to 1320, gradually replaced Inch Galbraith as the Galbraith’s principal base.

By 1296, Culcrewchis was in the hands of Sir Arthur Galbraith of Gartconnel, the sixth Chief of the Galbraiths. His name is recorded for Culcreuch on the Raqulan Rolls which is a list compiled in 1296 of those obliged to pay homage to King Edward the First of England, though he supported King Robert the Bruce during the Wars of Independence (and hand-witnessed various of Robert’s grants and charters).

Arthur died sometime after 1314, and left three sons, Patrick, 7th Chief of the Galbraiths, Maurice, (later 1st of Culcreuch) and Donald of Kilbride. On his death, it was Maurice’s branch of Arthur’s family who lived at Culcreuch and to whom credit is given for the building of Culcreuch by father and son during the period 1296 to 1320.

Patrick Galbraith of Gartconnel, the eldest of Arthur’s sons and living elsewhere in Lennox, was appointed 7th Chief on the death of his father and had already been given the Stewardship of Lennox (an office held by his grandfather) in 1313. Patrick acquired further charters of land from the Crown, increasing the Galbraith landholdings, including those of Cammoquhil and Balcarrage before being succeeded by his son William.

William Galbraith of Garconnel, the 8th Chief of the Galbraiths continued acquiring lands for the Galbraith Clan, including Arlehaven and, after 1342, married a daughter of Kincaid of that Ilk, thus also acquiring the lands of Balmore and a quarter of Kincaid itself.

It was due to the death of William’s son that the Chiefship then passed to the descendants of Sir Arthur Galbraith’s second son, Maurice, resident at Culcreuch and credited with the building of Culcreuch with his father, and this was the point in history (and thereafter for 300 years) that Culcreuch became the central focus of the Galbraith Clan.

Maurice Galbraith was redesignated 1st of Culcreuch when his grandson James, son of his elder son Arthur (2nd of Culcreuch), became 9th Chief of the Clan Galbraith and 3rd of Culcreuch, around 1390.