Clan McCulloch

Clan McCulloch
Crest badge
Crest: A hand throwing a dart Proper.
Motto: Vi et animo
Region Lowlands
District Galloway
Clan McCulloch has no chief, and is an armigerous clan
McCulloch of Myreton arms.svg
Arms of the last Chief of Clan McCulloch
Last Chief: The McCulloch of Myreton.
Historic seat Cardoness Castle.[1]

Clan MacCulloch is a Lowland Scottish clan. As it no longer has a Clan chief, Clan MacCulloch is an Armigerous clan.


Clan Branches

MacCulloch of Myreton

1. The MacCullochs of Myreton were a Lowland family who lived in southern Scotland overlooking Luce Bay near the Water of Luce. Unlike other MacCulloch families the MacCullochs of Myreton were not septs of another clan but owned their own territory and were seated at Cardoness Castle. Myreton is in southwest Scotland along the coast. Across the bay from Myreton lies another MacCulloch region related to Ardwell. King Robert the Bruce of Scotland of Scotland knighted Captain Cullo O'Neil and chose him to be his standard-barrer and Secretary of State around 1317. He gave Sir Cullo O'Neil lands in Lorn, Myreton, and Achawan which encompass Killerar and Ardwell in Galloway. Sir Cullo O'Neil died in 1331 and left his estate of Myreton and other lands in Galloway to his eldest son Sir Godfrey, who assumed the surname of McCullo. The progenitor of this race is lost in antiquity and it is not until the 13th century that we have a positive record of the name. The first noted swore fealty to Edward I of England c.1296, and this lineage held the lands of Torhouse, Myreton and Ardwell in Galloway until, in 1682, Sir Godfrey Macculloch, through imprudence, was obliged to sell his inheritance and live in reduced circumstances. Following a fatal fight over some cattle with a Clan Gordon neighbour he fled the country for a time, but returned, only to be apprehended and executed in 1697. This story became the basis of an old Scottish legend.[2]

MacCulloch of Plaidis

2. Another MacCulloch family, the MacCullochs of Ross-shire, were known to have established themselves in Easter Ross by the 14th century, where they are first noted as followers of the Earl of Ross and Clan Ross. Several MacCullochs became Canons Regular of the Premonstratensian Order at Fearn Abbey in Ross-shire. In 1486 Angus MacCulloch of Tarell was killed at the Battle of Auldicharish fighting against the Clan MacKay who had long been at feud with the Clan Ross.

In 1497 they aligned themselves as a sept of the Clan Munro in Ross-shire. The family had considerable tenure of lands around Tain. Their principal designation 'of Plaidis' was held until John Macculloch, Provost of Tain, bought the lands of Kindeace from Munro of Culnald in 1612, after which they became 'of Kindeace'. Other lands held by the Maccullochs in Easter Ross included Piltoun, Mulderg and Easter Drumm, the latter coming into their possession in 1649.

MacCulloch of Oban

3. A third 'clan' of Maccullochs, the MacCullochs of Oban, inhabited lands in the vicinity of Oban, and the island of Kerrara, on the West coast of Argyll, where Macculloch of Colgin was long recognised as the representative of his line, who were said to be descended from a race of MacLulichs who had inhabited Benderloch under the patronage of the Clan MacDougall.

That various MacCullochs allied themselves with other clans is undoubted but, given their individual land holdings, they no doubt held themselves to be the equal of any.

McCulloch lineages and related families

In 1966, with the death of his father, Walter Jameson McCulloch became the 14th of Ardwall, as well as sixth of Hills, the latter Maxwell estate near Lochrutton having been in the McCulloch family since 1710. He had three sons: Andrew Jameson (b.1935); John David (of Auchindinny) (b.1937) and Alexander Patton (1946). His extensive book which was published for private family use contains trees of the following McCulloch lineages and related families:

  • McCulloch of Myreton
  • McCulloch of Ardwell (later of Myretoun)
  • McCulloch of Killasser
  • McCulloch of Torhouse
  • McCulloch of Drummorrel
  • McCulloch of Inshanks and Mule
  • McCulloch of Torhousekie
  • McCulloch of Cardiness
  • Gordon of Cardiness
  • McCulloch of Barholm
  • McCulloch of Kirkclaugh
  • McCulloch of Auchengool
  • McCulloch of Ardwall (Nether Ardwall)
  • Maxwell of Hills.

MacCulloch Tartans

The MacCullochs of Ross-shire, as septs of the Clan Munro and Clan Ross, are permitted to wear either of those clans' tartans and the MacCullochs of Oban, as septs of the Clan MacDougall, may wear their tartan or even the District of Galloway tartan. However the MacCullochs themselves also have their own clan tartan as well as a second "dress" tartan.


  • Cardoness Castle, which was built in the 1470's, was the seat of the MacCullochs of Myreton.[3]
  • Barholm Castle was the seat of a branch of the MacCullochs of Myreton, who became known as the MacCullochs of Barholm.[4]
  • Killaser Castle, another seat of the MacCullochs of Myreton in Ardwell, now in ruins.[5][6]
  • Myreton Castle was another seat of the MacCullochs of Myreton which was built in the 16th century but was sold to the Clan Maxwell in 1685. The castle was built on the site of a 12th-century motte. Today it lies in ruins.[7][8]

Spelling variations

Although MacCulloch is the most frequently encountered spelling, because few people could write centuries ago, the spelling of the name has varied. This may mean that even members of the same family may have spelled their names differently. Spelling variations include:

  • Culloch
  • Gulloch
  • McCulloch
  • McCullough
  • MacCoulaghe
  • MacChullach
  • MacAlach
  • MacCullaigh
  • MacCullough
  • MacClullich
  • MacLullich
  • MacLullick
  • Makcullocht
  • McCully

See also


  1. ^ Cardoness Castle at Undiscovered Scotland.
  2. ^ Fairy Tales - Sir Godfrey MacCulloch at Electric Scotland.
  3. ^ Cardoness Castle at Undiscovered Scotland.
  4. ^ Barholm Castle.
  5. ^ Killaser Castle, Cairnhandy at Geograph/
  6. ^ Killaser Castle at ScotlandsPlaces.
  7. ^ Myrton Castle at Gazetteer for Scotland.
  8. ^ Castle Photos from Scotland by Eleanor.

External links

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