Sites of Historic Significance to Maxwells
Tealing Armorial Stone
The Tealing Armorial stone dates from the early 16th century and was originally set in the walls of Tealing House, a fortified towerhouse in the hamlet of that name in Forfar. The Maxwells of Tealing were a cadet of the principal house of Caerlaverock. Sir Eustace Maxwell was the progenitor of the branch. He married the youngest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Hugh Gifford of Yester and got with her the considerable baron of Tealing to the north of Dundee. Sir Eustace was the uncle of the first Lord Maxwell and his family became the most northerly of the landed Maxwells.
The armorial stone is the earliest surviving example of a Maxwell armorial complete with crest and supporters. The carving is still crisp although naïve and the mason had problems with the lettering having over compressed the initial letters he had to change the motto in order to balance the achievement. The motto should have read I BYD YE FAIR. The arms are clearly those of the Lord Maxwell to whom the Tealing Maxwell remained loyal. The flat area on the top of the stone served as a plinth for the arms of the Tealing Maxwells who's saltire was surmounted with a golden heart and had a crest of a bucks head although by 1672 they had changed it to a hawk facing to the right.
When the barony of Tealing was sold in the 18th century the new owners, the Scrymgoers, who were the Provosts of Dundee, removed the armorial to the Tealing Churchyard were it is set into the Maxwell grave plot.
Wardlaw is the small round hill to the north east of the Maxwell seat of Caerlaverock. The hill forms the end of a ridge that runs down the east bank of the Nith estuary. Warldaw was the rallying place of the Maxwell family. The cry would go out "I bid ye bide Wardlaw" and Maxwell kinsmen, bondsmen and tenents alike, would gather together their gear of war and race for the top af Wardlaw. From the rallying cry came both the Motto af the Lords Maxwell and the slogan or warcry of the Maxwells, "I bid ye fair" and "Wardlaw!". In ancient times Wardlaw had been a hillfort of the Galloway tribes that inhabited these parts. The hillfort was replaced by a Roman encampment in the first century BC until the Romans withdrew southward behind Hadrian's Wall.
Lord Maxwell's Memorial Cross
Standing on the roadside at Woodhouse in the parish of Kirkpatrick Fleming is this monumental stone cross. It was erected late in the fifteenth century to mark the spot were John, third Lord Maxwell lost his life. In July 1484, the outlawed Earl of Douglas in the company of the Duke of Albany at the head of 500 English horse forayed into Annandale expecting their former tenents to rally to their side. However the country rose up against them and they were forced to retreat. John, Lord Maxwell, (He was in fact, the Master of Maxwell, as his father was still alive but had hung up his sword and retreated into prayer.) intercepted the invading force on the banks of the Kirtle and inflicted heavy loss on them. Being sorely wounded, Lord Maxwell was leaning on his sword at the close of the engagement when a disgruntled Scotsman named Gask stabbed him from behind, in revenge for the death of a cousin whom Maxwell, in administering justice as Steward of Annandale, had caused to be hanged. John died on the spot and his father Robert, Lord Maxwell, was so heartbroken that he caused the column with its cross fleury to be raised to commemorate his murdered son.
These other sites of interest are being written up:- Dryfe Sands, Lincluden Collegate Church, Holywood Abbey, Troqueer Churchyard, Maxwell's Cave.