Balmaclellan (Scots Gaelic: Baile MhicIllFhaolain, meanin 'toun o the MacLellans') is a smaw hillside veelage o stane hooses wi sclate ruifs in a beildie-bucht o the Gallowa Hills, in the historical coonty of Kirkcoubrieshire in Dumfries an Gallowa, Scotland. Til the wast, across the River Ken, the lairger an mair sonsie toun o New Gallowa lies ablo the Rhinns o Kells.


"Old Mortality", Balmaclellan
Balmaclellan is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Location within Dumfries an Gallowa
OS grid referenceNX653791
Cooncil area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnitit Kinrick
Postcode destrictDG7
EU PairlamentScotland
UK Pairlament
Scots Pairlament
Leet o places
55°05′16″N 4°06′46″W / 55.087778°N 4.112778°W / 55.087778; -4.112778Coordinates: 55°05′16″N 4°06′46″W / 55.087778°N 4.112778°W / 55.087778; -4.112778
High Street, Balmaclellan

Location an people


Balmaclellan is ane o fower pairishes in the northren destrict o the Stewarty o Kirkcoubrie. It conteens 23,737 acre, o whit aboot 4,000 acre is teel't. It includes auries o watter, braid plains o moss, an aboot 300 acre o tree plantation, bit maist o the laund is uised for sheep an cattle pastur. Mony o the cattle is o the Gallowa breed.[1] The climate is temperate. Average monthly temperaturs ranges fae 1 tae 7 °C (34 tae 45 °F) in Januar, an 11 tae 18 °C (52 tae 64 °F) in Julie-August, wi 984 mm (38.7 inch) o rain ilk year.[2]

In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, descrived the woners as "... of a mixed Gaelic and Germanic origin, and speak Braid Scots, a Northumbrian dialect of English. Those that profess a religion are generally but by no means entirely Calvinist Christians, adhering to the Church of Scotland or the Wee Frees".[3] In 2009, o thaim that profess a releegion in Balmaclellan, maist is Presbyterians that adhere til the Kirk o Scotland.

The populaton wis 554 in 1801, 634 in 1901, an 550 in 1951.[3]


Balmaclellan Crimean War memorial

Celtic relicts hae been fund in the aurie, includin a fine decore't mirror an crescent o the Bronze Age that is noo in the National Museum of Scotland. The pairish o Balmaclellan appears tae hae haed a earlier Breetish name, Treuercarcou, that appears in a 13t century record o ecclesiastical taxs. The treu- pairt o this name is clear the auld northren Breetish equivalent o the modren Welsh tref "farmtoun, dwallin", shawin an early dounset whan this P-Celtic leid wis spoken in the aurie yet.

The upper veelage haes a 12t century motte - the 'Bal' o Balmaclellan. Barscobe Castle is juist ower a mile til the nor'east, built in 1648 bi William Maclellan, a fine exemple o the last stage o tour hoose biggin in Scotland.[4]

Balmaclellan Pairish Kirk wis built in 1752 and addit tae in 1883 bi local airchitect William McCandlish.[1]

Balmaclellan wis ance a centre o the Covenanter releegious muivement. The veelage haes a statue tae Robert Paterson, Sir Walter Scott's "Old Mortality". His guidwife Elizabeth Grey estaiblisht a schuil in the veelage, that can be seen yet. She dee'd in 1785 an is buirit in the kirkyaird. Amang the ither heidstanes is that o anither Covenanter, Robert Grierson, that wis kilt for his faith in 1685 (no tae be confuised wi Sir Robert Grierson, 1t Baronet o Lag, the notour herrier o the Gallowa Covenanters).[5]

The kirkyaid conteens whit likely is the earliest ceevic war memorial in Scotland an aw. It commemorates five men fae Balmaclellan that dee'd in the Crimean War. Thay is:

  • William Barr - Rifle Brigade
  • James Gibson - 42nd Highlanders
  • Joseph Gordon - Lance Cpl., Royal Sappers and Miners
  • James McMichael - Lance Cpl., 46th Regiment
  • Thomas McRobert - Fusilier Guards

A saxt man, John Henry Upton Spalding, Lt. RN, an officer that dee'd at Sevastopol, is commemoratit on his faimily's toumstane bit no on the memorial itsel.[2]

Near the edge o the Balmaclellan kirkyaird thare is a rochsome uninscrieved whinstane pillar that leuks like an auncient moniment, an is local said tae merk the graff o a witch.[6] Possibly the graff is that ane o Elspeth McEwen fae nearby Dalry, that wis fund guilty o bein a withch on her ain confession an on the evident o witnesses, an burnt tae her deith at Kirkcoubrie in 1698. She wis ane o the last "witches" tae be executit in Scotland.[7]

Leeterar References

  • William Le Queux (1864-1927) - his novelles The Czar's Spy (1905) an The Place of Dragons (1916) hae scenes set in the aurie.[8]

Namely fowk

  • Sir Hugh Wontner GBE CVO (1908-1992) - English hotelier director o the Savoy Hotel, politeecian. He sortit the 17t century tour hoose o Barscobe Castle as his haliday hame.
  • Ethel Bristowe (1862-1952) - airtist, assyriologist. Bade at Craig, Balmaclellan. In 1938 she dotit an airt gailerie til the people o Castle Douglas alang wi mony o her pentins. She is buirit in Balmaclellan Seemetry.
  • Ian McCulloch (born 1939) - actor. He bades wi his guidwife the airtist Mary-Clare Cornwallis at Balmaclellan.
  • Professor Edward J. Cowan FRSE (born 1944) - umwhile Professor o Scots History at the Glesga Varsity an Director o the varsity's Dumfries campus.


  1. Gen Balmaclellan
  2. Met Office Auchincruive 1971-2000 averages
  3. a b A vision of Balmaclellan
  4. Overview of Balmaclellan - Dumfries and Galloway
  5. Visit Southern Balmaclellan
  6. "Balmaclellan Archaeology Notes". Archived frae the original on 2 Mey 2022. Retrieved 11 Apryle 2020.
  7. "A Witch's Execution". Archived frae the original on 9 Juin 2011. Retrieved 11 Apryle 2020.
  8. Rimington, Stella (11 Januar 2011). "John Buchan and The Thirty-Nine Steps" (in Inglis). ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 October 2019.