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Updated 03/26/2020


Lochinvar House

Lochinvar is a loch in the civil parish of Dalry in the historic county of Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfries and Galloway Scotland. The loch formerly had an island on which stood Lochinvar Castle, seat of the Gordon family. In the 20th century the loch was dammed to form a reservoir, raising the water level and submerging the island with the ruins of the castle. The ruins of a castle stand on a now submerged islet within the loch. The islet was submerged when the loch's level was raised as part of a project to supply drinking water in the 1960s.

The Lochinvar Burn flows south towards the Water of Ken and on an flooded islet in the loch stand the ruins of a former stronghold of the Gordons of Lochinvar, one of whom was featured as 'Young Lochinvar' in Lady Heron's song in Sir Walter Scott's 'Marmion'. Lochinvar is corrupted gaelic, Loch an barr, meaning Loch at the top (hilltop). It lies 700 feet above sea level. From here it is an impressive sight looking south down the valley towards Loch Ken, past the town of New Galloway and onwards to the Solway Firth.

Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar (as he was known before his ennoblement) was the eldest son of Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar (d. November 1628), a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, by his wife Lady Isabel Ruthven, daughter of the first Earl of Gowrie.

After completion of his studies he travelled on the continent, and while there he resided in the house of the famous John Welsh, who was then minister at St. Jean d'Angely in France, having been banished from Scotland.

On his return home Gordon exerted himself with success in getting Anworth, the parish in which the family residence was situated, disjoined from two other parishes with which it had been united; and through his influence, Samuel Rutherford was appointed minister of the new charge in 1627, which Kenmure later said was "the most meritorious action of my life".

At some point Gordon was knighted. A strong supporter of the Stuart monarchy, on May 8, 1633, as Sir John Gordon, knight, he was created Viscount of Kenmure and Lord Lochinvar by Charles I by Letters Patent, at his Scottish coronation in Edinburgh. The destination was to heirs male whatsoever bearing the surname and Arms of Gordon.

He attended the parliament held at Edinburgh the following June, but avoided the debate on the King's measures relative to the church, retiring instead to Kenmure Castle. He later regretted that he took no part but expressed his dilemma at not wishing to upset his monarch.