Clan Wallace

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Variations of the name Wallace are found in records by the 12th Century in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire/South of Glasgow. Richard Walensis of Riccarton held land near Kilmarnock/Ayrshire.

Richards’s grandson Adam de Walays had two sons, the eldest named Alan succeeded to the family estates in Ayrshire including Riccarton at Kilmarnock (also reffered to at times as Ellerslie).

Adam’s younger son Malcolm received the lands of Elderslie and Auchinbothie in Renfrewshire.

This is where the confusion begins as to whether Alan of Ayrshire or Malcolm of Renfrewshire was the father of the great Scottish patriot, Sir William Wallace.

Although Alan de Waleys appears on the Ragman Roll of nobles paying allegiance to Edward I of England in 1296, his brother Malcolm of Elderslie was one of only a few Scottish nobles who bravely refused to submit to Edward. He and his son, Andrew, were both executed as a result.

William was living with relatives near Dundee at that time being educated. William had to flee Dundee after either killing an Englishman there that had been taunting him for some time, or, as another story goes, he and some followers had tracked down Malcolm's executioner, Sir John Fenwick, and his men at Lowden Hill / Lanarkshire and slayed Fenwick. After whatever event was true, Wallace moved to Ayrshire where he lived as an outlaw.

Although his success in skirmishes with english troops in Ayrshire brought many new followers, to gain the support of the nobility, he allied himself with Sir Andrew Murray, who was raising a revolt in the northeast. They were later joined by the Graham’s, Campbell’s and the Earl of Lennox.

By 1297, Wallace had gathered enough support to challenge a mighty English Army on route to Stirling Castle at Stirling Bridge. His victory at Stirling saw him knighted and granted the title ‘Guardian of Scotland’.

Sir William Wallace was defeated in battle by Edward 1 (Longshanks) at Falkirk 1298. Although he escaped with his life, Wallace was captured at Glasgow August 5th 1305. After being tried for treason, was hung, drawn and quartered at Elms in Smithfield/London August 23rd 1305.

In 1999, the seal of Sir William Wallace was translated from its archaic latin. On his seal it says he is the son of Alan. His mother is believed to have been the daughter of Sir Hugh Crawford, Sheriff of Ayr, and he is thought to have had an elder brother named Malcolm. Because he was the second son, William did not inherit his fathers title or lands.

Craigie Castle image

Craigie Castle 4 miles southeast of Kilmarnock was originally built for the Lindsay Clan. The castle passed to John Wallace of Riccarton through marriage about 1371. This line of the Wallace's then lived at Craigie Castle until they moved to Newton Castle /Ayr in 1588. Craigie Castle was then left to fall into ruin.

Sundrum Castle image

Descendants of Sir William Wallace were also Sir Duncan Wallace (Sheriff of Ayr) who had the main tower of Sundrum Castle built in the 1300s.

Carnell Castle image

The tower of Carnell Castle 6 miles northeast of Ayr was built for the Wallace’s in the 1500s.

1669, Hugh Wallace was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia.

Craigie House image

1730s, Craigie House in Ayr was built as a replacement residence for Sir Thomas Wallace of Newton Castle/Ayr, nothing of Newton Castle remains.


1888, Captain Henry Wallace of Busbie and Cloncaird Castle (12 miles south of Ayr by the small village of Straiton) established himself as chief of the name.

Robert Wallace received both the French and Belgian Croix De Guerre during the First World War. His son, Malcolm, who served in the Second World War, Korea and Borneo, rose to the rank of colonel. He was succeeded in 1991 by his brother, Ian, the thirty-fifth chief who resides in Edinburgh.

Graigie House was bought by Ayr Town Council in 1940. The gardens that run from the centre of Ayr northeast alongside the River Ayr are open to the public free of charge. The house is used as offices for Paisly University.

Sundrum Castle served as a hotel for some time before being divided into apartments, some of which can now be rented for holidays. There is also a holiday park on its grounds.

Carnell Castle is now run as an exclusive hotel offering shooting, fishing and golf packages.

Cloncaird Castle was bought by an Ayr businessman around 2003 to be used as his family home. Cottages on the grounds can be rented for holidays.

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