Clanyard Castle was the largest, most
splendid castle in the Wigtonshire,
Kirkmaiden Parish area, residence of a
branch of the Gordons of Kenmure and
Lochinvar. Clanyard, or Cloynard,
probably comes from the Norse word
klungr for brambles, any rough ground,
crags or rocks. Only parts of the west
gable and north wall survive from what
was once a great L-plan tower house.
Built in the 16th C. by the Gordons of
Kenmure, Castle Clanyard was abandoned by 1684. A fragment of a stone bearing
a carved guilloche motif from the tower is incorporated in the S corner of the meal
barn at Castle Clanyard farm.
A 16th Century legend has it that young McDouall of Logan and Gordon of Clanyard
were both in love with the same maiden, the daughter of M'Kinna of Portcorkerie.
Gordon, by fair means or foul, had the young lady taken to Cardoness Castle, near
Gatehouse of Fleet - the residence of another branch of the Gordon family.
Hearing of this MacDouall gave pursuit with his men and overtook the party on the
sea-shore at Killeser. A conflict ensued and the maiden was freed, but her rescuer,
MacDouall of Logan, was slain. According to the tradition, about 40 men fell, and
between 30 and 40 small cairns still remain in the small plantation at Ardwell to mark