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History of Cally House

Original Owner:
Sir John Stewart of Cally – 15th Century
Elizabeth Stewart – Died 1471
 Married: Alexander Stewart of Torbane – Married Elizabeth in 1412
 Second marriage: Donald Lennox – Married Elizabeth about 1430

Additional Owners::
William Lennox – Died in 1576, graduate of St. Andrews University
Alexander Lennox of Cally- Died in 1657
John Craigie of Craigiehall (owner of lands before property was built) – 14th Century
  da. Margaret Craigie Stewart
James Murray – Born in Scotland in 1727 and Died in 1799

Cally House – Stay in a Historic Palace in Scotland

Set in acres of opulent surroundings, Cally Palace is located on the outskirts of the village of Gatehouse of Fleet on the Solway coast in South West Scotland. The lands of Cally are home to the ancient tower ruin of Cally Castle and Cally Palace, a stunning 18th century country mansion. The rich history of the lands of Cally is admirably celebrated in its current incarnation as a luxury country hotel – the grandeur of which is immediately apparent as you walk through the large oak doors and are greeted by imposing marble pillars and a magnificent gilt cupola ceiling.


In the 14th century, long before Cally Palace existed, these lands were held by the Stewarts, as Margaret Craigie, daughter and heiress of John Craigie of Craigie and Braidwood, married Sir John Stewart. In 1607, two sons from the Stewart clan, Thomas and William, married the daughters of Andrew Lennox of Plunton – Jean and Margaret Lennox. However, it was their elder brother, John, who was granted ownership of Cally. Both John and his son, Alexander Lennox – the eventual inheritor of the estate – were members of the Covenanters’ War Committee during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is thought that the first castle was built on these lands during this time; however, given that the moat may have been abandoned at an earlier date, it’s possible that the 15th century structure was actually a replacement for an even older building.


In 1658, Anna Lennox received the lands of Cally according to her father’s will and, owing to her marriage to Richard Murray of Broughton, the property later passed to the Murrays of Broughton. During the middle of the 18th century, the new laird of the estate had a chance encounter with the architect Robert Mylne while travelling on a grand tour of Rome. The two men began preparing plans for a new house – a classical mansion of three storeys – which was eventually constructed in the 1760s, just a stone’s throw away from the ageing castle. The Lennox family relinquished control of the estate when an illegitimate son, the product of a relationship with James’ daughter’s governess, inherited the Cally legacy. 


Throughout the 19th century, Cally House and its surrounding lands – now comprising around 40,000 acres – exchanged hands between a number of noble families before it fell into the hands of Elizabeth Murray-Baillie. By this point, the estate she inherited was in great financial difficulties, so she took the decision to sell the entire estate to the Forestry Commission in 1933. Only a year later, the property began its life as a hotel and, apart from being used as a secondary school for evacuated children from Glasgow during the Second World War, Cally Palace has remained a magnificent hotel to this day.