Clan Lockhart

The name Locard or Lokart is believed to be of Norman origin. It is probable they moved into Scotland after being disposed of their lands by William the Conqueror.

There are records of Lockards near Penrith (northern England) in the 12th Century and later in Annandale (southern Scotland). The town of Lockerbie (southern Scotland) is said to be named after them. The Lockard’s finally settled in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire.

Stephen Locard founded the village of Stevens Toun in Ayrshire north of Irvine, now Stevenston.

His son, Symon, acquired land in Lanrkshire where he built Lee Castle. Symon like his father also named a village after himself, this being Symons Toun (today Symington south of Lanark southwest of Glasgow).

Lee Castle image

Symon, 2nd of Lee, acquired more wealth and land by fighting alongside Robert the Bruce against the English occupiers of Scotland in the early 1300s. He was knighted for his loyal service.

1300s, Lockhard’s of Barr northeast of Girvan/Ayrshire built Barr Tower at Galston east of Kilmarnock/Ayrshire. Little history of that family can be found, accept that they were connected through marriage to the Mure’s of Rowallan and Boyd’s of Kilmarnock.

Barr Tower

Very little of any castles around the village of Barr remain.

Sir Symon was among knights led by Sir James Douglas, who took Bruce’s heart on Crusade in 1329. Douglas carried the king’s heart in a casket, of which Sir Symon carried the key. The crusade was ended prematurely when Douglas was killed fighting the Moors in Spain. To commemorate that adventure, the family name was changed from Locard to Lockheart, which afterwards became Lockhart.

Alan Lockhart of Lee was killed at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 fighting against an English army intent on the young Mary Queen of Scots marrying into the English royalty.

Sir James Lockhart of Lee, born in 1596, was appointed a gentleman of the Privy Chamber by Charles I and knighted. In 1646, he was appointed to the Supreme Court Bench, taking the title Lord Lee. He was captured during the English Civil War at Alyth in 1651 by the Parliamentarians and held in the Tower of London.

His son, Sir William, also fought for the Royalists. He took part in the Battle of Worcester 1651(the final battle of the English Civil War that the Parliamentarians won). His survival of that battle forced him to move to the continent where he achieved prominence fighting for France. He died in the Netherlands 1675.

James Lockhart, who inherited the estates in 1777, also saw service on the Continent where he rose to be a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. The title of count became extinct when James’s only son, Charles, died without leaving an heir.

Although Lee Castle had been sold some years ago, Clan Chief Angus Lockhart of Lee, designed a Lockhart tartan in 1996 and formed the Clan Lockhart Society. Angus has continued to manage the estate.

The present owners of Lee Castle are attempting to sell the castle at a price of around £4 million. The title 35th Baron or Baroness of Lee will go to the new owner.

Barr Tower in Galston was sold to the Campbells of Cessnock in 1670; it now serves as a Masonic Hall. The tower can occasionally be viewed in summer months.

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