Mains Castle, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, was probably built in the late 15th century. The lands of Kilbride were originally owned by the Norman de Valognes family. Upon the marriage of Isabel de Valognes to David Comyn in the early 13th century the estate came into the possession of the Comyn family.
One of their descendants, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch (the Red Comyn), was the son of John de Balliol’s sister, he supported Balliol’s claim to the Scottish throne. This put him at odds with the rival claimant Robert the Bruce, and in 1306 John Comyn was murdered by Bruce.
Bruce confiscated the Comyn lands and gave them to his son-in-law, Walter Stewart. In 1382 the former Comyn estates were granted to the Lindsay family by King Robert II, in recognition of the help of the Lindsays in the murder of John Comyn.
In 1619 the castle and estates were sold to the Stuarts of Torrance to pay off debts run up by Alexander Lindsay of Dunrod. With the Stuarts having their main residence at Torrance House, Mains Castle was neglected.
n 1723 the castle had its roof removed, with the slates being used in building work at Torrance House. Around 1743 the carved panel from the drawbridge gate was taken to Torrance House where it was set above the doorway.
In the 1880s the castle was restored, but it was later abandoned once more, and between world War I and World War II the roof was again removed following damage during a storm. It remained an unoccupied ruin until 1976 when a 10 year program of restoration was begun by Mike Rowan.
It is still a private residence today, situated on the edge of the James Hamilton Heritage Park on a mound above a small loch known as Crawford’s Hole.
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