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Rowallan Castle

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There is speculation in The Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, by a descendant of Sir William Mure (1594-1657), regarding the meaning of "Rowallan". Actually, it appears their source for interpretation (around 1825) was probably incorrect. The guess was that the word was rooted in two Gaelic words... "Ruah" and "Alluin". "Ruah" was thought to mean "an acute projection formed by the bending of a stream". Yet, "Ruah" really has no solid Gaelic translation. "Rua", on the other hand, translates to "red". Additionally, "Alluin" was thought to mean "delightful, pleasant", but according to Gaelic translation, it means "ability".

Considering the Celtic Briton Y DNA roots of the Mure/Muir line, however, the Middle Breton word "Rivallen" and Early Welsh word "Riguallon" appear to come very close to "Rowallan". For that matter, the Welsh form of the old Celtic name "Rigovellaunos" appears to mean "most kingly" or "lord-ruler" (from "rhi" and "gwallon"). More importantly, if we consider the land on which Rowallan is situated, we know it was once part of the early British kingdom of Hen Ogledd ('the Old North')... the Brythonic Celtic speaking region of what is now Northern England and southern Scotland.[1] Thankfully, the age of this kingdom is preserved to some degree in the stories of the Welsh Triads (11th to 12th century, AD)[2]. A key character in the Triads was Urien, a sixth century warrior king of North Rheged, one of the kingdoms of Hen Ogledd.[3] At one point Urien joined with Rhydderch Hael "the Generous", of Strathclyde, along with two other descendants of Coel - Gwallog mab Llaenog and Morgant Bwlch, in defeating the Angles and beseiging them at Lindisfarne. Additionally, one of Urien's sons was... Rhiwallon, "who fought against the Saxons and enjoyed a number of victories". Rhiwallon appears, impressively, in three particular passages:

The three banded families of the Isle of Britain: the family of Caswallawn with the Long Hand; the family of Rhiwallon, son of Urien; and the family of Belyn of Lleyn. They were so called, because they were not subjected to either head, or sovereign, as it respected the ranks of their families and power, but owed submission only to the voice of the country and the nation.

The three golden-banded ones of the Isle of Britain: Rhiwallon with the Broom Hair; Rhun, the son of Maelgwn; and Cadwaladyr the Blessed. That is, they were permitted to wear golden bands about their arms, their necks and their knees; and with these were granted the privilege of royalty in every country and dominion in the Isle of Britain.

The three naturalists of the Isle of Britain: Gwalchmai the son of Gwyar; Llecheu son of Arthur; and Rhiwallon of the Broom-brush-hair; and there was nothing of which they did not know its material essence, and its property, whether of kind, quality, compound, coincidence, tendency, nature, or of essence, whatever it might be.[4]

More to follow...

BY3368 lines of Muir/Mure/Moore


  1. Hen Ogledd, Wikipedia; Retrieved 11 Sept 2020
  2. Welsh Triads, Wikipedia; Retrieved 11 Sept 2020
  3. Urien Rheged, in English Monarchs; Retrieved 11 Sept 2020
  4. Triads of Britain, Wikisource; Retrieved 11 Sept 2020

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