The old coach road passed by the castle on its way north, (the road is commonly known now as the Old Road) and the tree was located where the White Gate now resides.
The tree was a "Dule Tree" which was common to all baronial residences and derived its name from being the doom tree where the condemned of the baron's own retainers or his enemies suffered punishment and that it had served the purpose of a gallows and the place of execution.
It is also suggested that a great part of the population of castle based estates were serfs. The serfs were bound to stay on master's land and if they left they were brought back strayed on an oxen. They were compelled to do all manner labour for their lord felling timber carrying manure repairing roads and the like.
Whatever they did their lord could take at his pleasure. He could kill them like cattle, they were his property as much as horses in his stalls. He had the power of pit and gallows over them that is of drowning women and men in testimony of which the dule tree or tree sorrow where poor men came to grief by a rope.
In simple terms all the lairds staff were slaves and if they did not do as they were told they would be killed by hanging by a noose tied to the tree.
These trees were often close to the residence of the lord or clan chief. The tree was most likely a sycamore and was used as a natural gibbet and a means for publicly carrying out feudal justice. The strong timber, not prone to snapping, made this a favoured species for this purpose.
Its prominent position at busy thoroughfares, particularly at crossroads was so that justice could be seen to have been done and as a salutary warning to others.