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Archive for May, 2010

Castle of the week, Kilchurn Castle Scotland

Kilchurn Castle, built in the mid fifteenth century on Loch Awe, is located in Western Scotland about 75  miles northwest of Glasgow. The location of the castle, half way between Oban and Crianlarich was historically a Campbell stronghold but the castle was more than likely erected on an earlier MacGregor of Glenstrae site. The MacGregors were the dominant clan in this region until they were eclipsed by the Campbells in the early fifteenth century.

Kilchurn Castle was built in about 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy, and initially the Castle was a five story tower house with a courtyard defended by an outer wall. By the start of the sixteenth century an additional range and a hall had been added to the south side of the castle. In the late sixteenth century the Castle was converted into a more modern barracks able to house 200 troops. These changes included the addition of a three story L-shaped block along the north side of the castle. The Castle was used as a Government garrison during the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite rebellions. The Campbell family left Kilchurn Castle in 1740 and moved to Taymouth Castle in Eastern Scotland. In 1760 the castle was badly damaged by lightning and completely abandoned. The top of the tower struck by the lightning strike landed in one piece upside down in the Castle courtyard.

In 1951 Kilchurn Castle was placed into the guardianship of the state and is maintained and administered by a government funded body, Historic Scotland.  The shell of the Castle is in remarkably good condition and Historic Scotland have constructed access stairs and it is possible to climb to the highest towers and enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.

Kilchurn Castle

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