Lee Castle, South Lanarkshire – Clan Lockhart
Originally falling under the control of the Lockhart Clan during the 13th century, Lee Castle would be rebuilt many times before assuming its final form in the 1840s.
Originally given to William Locard in 1272, the area upon which the castle sits has been home to numerous different versions of the building, The first of these would be constructed around the time the land was given to the clan and the area would quickly rise in importance, becoming the traditional seat of the Lockharts.
As the family made the seat their own, they would begin to grow their reputation as a clan of great nobility and were fierce supporters of Robert the Bruce during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Following Robert’s death, they would also play a big part in the trip to carry out his final wishes, as they attempted to take his remains to the Holy Land, eventually turning around and settling for burial at Melrose Abbey instead. Despite this failure, being trusted to take part in this trip shows the high reputation the clan had at the time as they cemented themselves at the top of Scottish nobility.
Continuing to live on their estates at Lee, the family would eventually grow their land holdings as they gained the estates of the Earl of Carnwath in the mid-17th century. This only further illustrated the size of the clan as they were expanding the land around their castle, creating a buffer against any neighbouring enemies.
Fighting for the Jacobite cause during the 18th century, the clan chief would be forced into exile as his younger brother returned to reclaim the estates of Lee, staging his death in the process. Eventually, the castle would be refurbished by the clan, as the parklands around the structure were laid out and it was redeveloped into a larger, more modern castle. This would be the last work done by the Lockharts, though, as they eventually gave up control of their clan seat in 1948.
Since then, it has passed under new ownership and was refurbished in the late 20th century. It would be put up for sale on the internet site, eBay in 2004 and, although this sale was unsuccessful, it would be sold for an all-time record price for a private Scottish house as it was sold to American buyers later that year.