Ownership passed to his neice, Mathilda, daughter of James of Orchardton. James Douglas of Orchardton had amassed an estate of 6444 acres in Galloway by the time of his death. This was divided between his three daughters. It is said that this was so acrimonious that the sisters counted each individual tree to ensure that they got equal shares. There were additional lands in Gretna Green and in Wales, at Aberdare in Glamorgan.
Matilda died, aged 100, in 1887. In 1871, she appears to be living with her widowed sister, Sarah Maxwell at Orchardton, which she had inherited. However, in the 1881 census, she is listed as being at Gelston with three of her granchildren, Carles, Eva and Gerald Kirwan. There were also 6 servants.
The ancient owners of Gelston were probably monks of Iona. King William, 'The Lion of Scotland', granted gelston to the monks of Holyrood, sometime between 1165 and 1214.
In the Ragman roll of 1296, John of Geneleston (John de Gevelston) was recorded as owner. By 1472, Donald Maclellan of Gelston was owner. A succession of owners followed, including the Maxwell family. William Douglas acquired the lands in 1799.
Extending to some 4,500 acres, the estate has belonged since 1973 to
the Scott family, the land being divided among family members: the
Gelston end, comprising the Gelston Castle buildings and about a
third of the total land area, is looked after by Alexander and
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017