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Belstane Castle




This tower house, near Carluke, Lanarkshire, was held by the Livingstones, the Maxwells, the Lindsays and the Douglases.


The 'manor' of Belstane is first recorded in a grant to Ellen de Quarantly by Robert the Bruce in 1312. The castle was attacked, and the Livingstone women maltreated by Hay of Yester in 1585. Livingstone himself was inside, dodging a rain of lead which came through the window apertures.


Charter, dated at Whitehall, 24 May 1671 in favour of William Lindsay of Belstane, his heirs and assignees, heritably and irredeemably, of all and whole the five pound land of Belstane, comprehending the lands of Bashaw, with tower, fortalice, manor place, houses, biggings, yards, orchards, woods, coals, coalheughs, limestone, muirs, mosses, meadows, tenants, tenantries, service of free tenants, parts, pendicles, privileges and all their pertinents, lying within the parish of Carluke and sheriffdom of Lanark.


William Lindsay was appointed one of the commissioners of excise for the county in 1661. In May, 1671, he obtained a charter under the great seal confirming to him the £5 land of Belstane, comprehending the lands of Bashaw, which was ratified by parliament in the following year.

In 1673, William Lindsay, elder of Belstain, and John Lindsay, y thereof, disponed these lands to Sir Daniel Carmichael, of Mauldslie. The elder and younger Lindsays married sisters, daughters of Sir John Maxwell, of Calderwood and Mauldslie, by his first wife, Isobel, daughter of Sir Alexander Hamilton, of Innerwick; but William must have been twice married,—for Margaret Muirhead, by a tack dated at Kinshaw, 16th August, 1678, describes herself as "Relex" of William Lindsay, of Belstaine, and in her own name let lands and limestone at Gair. Mr. Oliphant, minister of Carluke, after his removal to Carstairs, prosecuted "Margaret Muirhead, lady , belstane, and Archibald Gray in gair, Thomas and William Grays his sons, tenants of the said lands, for arrears of stipend for 1689-90-91-92." These facts establish, that Sir Daniel Carmichael must have purchased Belstane with the burden of the liferent of Margaret Muirhead to a certain portion of the lands.

James Lindsay, her son, and "Robert Norvall, Wryter, Carlouk," subscribe the tack to the Grays as witnesses.

Daniel Carmichael, third son of John, Lord Carmichael, afterwards Earl of Hyndford, succeeded to Bellstain in 1694, on his father, the heir of conquest, renouncing in his favour (Decreet of adjudication).

Daniel Carmichael, his son, in 1712 succeeded (Retour of sp: service), who, under the powers conferred on him by an Act of Parliament passed in the nineteenth year of George II., sold Belstane to Archibald, Duke of Douglas, in December, 1750, namely, "All and Haill the five-pound land of Bellstain, comprehending therein the lands of Bashaw, with the tower, fortalice, houses, biggings, yeards, orchyeards, meadows, fishings, coalls, coalheughs, lime and limestone, peats, mosses, muirs, parts, pendicles, and pertinents thereof, lying within the parochine of Carlouck."

The Duke of Douglas entailed these lands in July 1761, and died the same year.


I would welcome further information on the 'castle'.


Location: NS 850515




Sources for this article include:

• Notices, Historical, Statistical and Biographical, Relating to the Parish of Carluke, from 1288 Till 1874


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