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It was a day that started with rain.  We pushed ahead anyways knowing the famous Scottish weather, and parked in a small village.  From there we walked near a river and would soon see a square keep looming ahead.  I had wanted to see this mansion for years, and even more so its great sister house.  Today, it stands largely forgotten, and is tied directly to one of the most bloody family feuds of Scottish history and what would become the first famous Kennedy assassination.   

This chaotic conflict was immortalized by Sir Walter Scott, and revolved around two rival Kennedy clan camps led by the greedy and cruel 4th and 5th Earls of Cassilis, and Sir Thomas of Culzean, and on the other side  the Lords of Bargany and their  supporters.   It would plunge the area into constant turmoil and occupy much of James I's time in dealing with its related court cases and conflicts.  Upon the murder of Lord Bargany by the much hated and cruel Earl of Cassilis, this tale of intrigue, betrayal, murder and mayhem would spin out of control, spanning decades, and engulf and destroy many families and houses, and tear apart the close knit Kennedy Clan of Galloway. 

While the mansion was first built in the 1400s as a castle and lived in by a key ally of Bargany, it  was later expanded and altered by the later Kennedy family generations in the 1600s to become a more modern family dwelling.  Long after the key players in the long and deadly feud had mostly come to violent ends, it was abandoned and left to rot in the 1700s.  Even today the Kennedy clan groups remain split and remember these old days of strife well.  It's hard to see this when you wander the silent and empty ruins, but there is a certain sense of sadness in the place.  Perhaps the family wanted to leave these old memories of loss behind when they moved to their newer and larger mansion.  

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