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Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute

Location: Inveraray Castle, Castle Road, PA32 8XE (map and directions)

Located one mile north of the village of Inveraray on Loch Fyne between Glasgow and Oban, Inveraray Castle is the seat of Chief of Clan Campbell, the Duke of Argyll and was constructed in from 1746 to 1789 for John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll. The castle’s design incorporates Baroque, Palladian and Gothic architectural features, has four towers, one at each corner of the castle’s square layout, and is set in 2 acres of gardens and 14 acres of parkland. The interior of the castle is quite elaborate and includes a State Dining Room (which includes the only surviving work of French painters Girard and Guinard) and the Armoury Hall (which displays weapons dating from 1740).

Inveraray Castle, Argyll & Bute copyright WF Millar
Inveraray Castle © WF Millar

Open to the public are the main reception rooms and a suite of former bedrooms, an area which is kept separate from the private part of the house.

History of Inveraray Castle

Previous to the current structure, the original Inverary Castle was located just 80m away on the property, which was built in the 1400s when Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe moved the seat of the Campbell Clan from Innis Chonnell Castle (now overgrown) to Inveraray Castle. It is unknown exactly which year the castle was built, but it would seem it occurred around the time of 1445 when Sir Duncan Campbell received the title of Lord Campbell.

The construction of the castle brought the settlement of the small town of Inverary around 1472, which then became a royal burgh in 1648 and evenutally, due to its location and natural harbour, became the legal and administrative centre of the County of Argyll by the early 1700s.

The town’s growth grew simulatenously with the growth in success of the Campbell Clan. In 1457 Colin Campbell was promoted to first Earl of Argyll, Archibald, 2nd Earl of Argyll became Master of the Royal Household and died alongside King James IV in 1513. Thereafter followed some less successful feats such as the 5th Earl of Argyll‘s loss while commanding the army of Mary Queen of Scots at the battle of Langside in 1568, the 7th Earl of Argyll‘s infamous attacks on rival clans, and the execution of both the 8th Earl of Argyll (promoted to Marquess of Argyll) and the 9th Earl of Argyll who opposed Charles II and James VII, respectively.

In 1701, the 10th Earl of Argyll was promoted to 1st Duke of Argyll and John, 2nd Duke of Argyll commanded the government forces that effecitvely ended the 1715 Jacobite Uprising. It was his son, the 3rd Duke of Argyll who converted Inverarary Castle into a more prestigious and comfortable castle designed by architect Roger Morris.

By the 19th century, the 8th Duke of Argyll became a cabinet minister in the British government and the 9th Duke of Argyll married Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. In 1877 fire destroyed much of the new Iverarary Castle, and Anthony Salvin was asked to completely re-design the castle into a Scottish baronial style. Tall conical roofs atop 4 corner towers, the castle was raised from 2 storeys to 3, with ceiling windos lighting the third floor. After World War II the castle was again renovated and opened to the public in 1953, but the a serious fire caused more damage to the castle in 1975, after which it was again restored by the 12th Duke of Argyll.

Map and directions

Currently home to the Duke of Argyll and his family, Inveraray Castle is open to the public every day between April and October. As the seat of the Campbell Clan, Inverarary Castle is also open at any time to any of the thousands of members of the Campbell clan from around the world.

View Inveraray Castle in a larger map

Other castles in Argyll & Bute

Bullet Point Carrick Castle
Bullet Point Dunans Castle
Bullet Point Dunaverty Castle
Bullet Point Dundarave Castle
Bullet Point Dunollie Castle
Bullet Point Dunstaffnage Castle
Bullet Point Duntrune Castle
Bullet Point Gylen Castle
Bullet Point Inveraray Castle
Bullet Point Kilberry Castle
Bullet Point Kilchurn Castle
Bullet Point Kilmory Castle
Bullet Point Castle Lachlan
Bullet Point Rothesay Castle
Bullet Point Saddell Castle
Bullet Point Skipness Castle
Bullet Point Castle Sween
Bullet Point Tarbert Castle
Bullet Point Torrisdale Castle
Bullet Point Castle Toward

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