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Kilchurn Castle, Argyll and Bute

Location: Grid reference - NN 133 276 (map and directions)

The ancestral home of the Campbells of Glenorchy, Kilchurn Castle is a ruined yet romantic castle located in a picturesque setting on the north-eastern end of Loch Awe. Originally constructed by Sir Colin Campbell as five storey tower house, a courtyard and an outer wall in 1450, Kilchurn was built on a tiny island in the loch almost no bigger than itself and would have been reached by a low lying or underwater causeway. Today the castle is connected to the mainland as the water levels have changed.

Kilchurn Castle, Argyll & Bute copyright James Hearton
Kilchurn Castle © James Hearton

History of Kilchurn Castle

In 1500 an additional range and a hall were added to the castle and a dining hall was added later in the 16th century, as well as chambers to the north of the tower house. In the late 1500s, Clan MacGregor occupied the castle, as appointed by the Campbells, which remained the case until the early 17th century when a violent feud between the families ensued and the Campbells regained full ownership of Kilchurn Castle. Sir John Campbell turned Kilchurn into a modern barracks with space for 200 troops in 1681, and it was used again as a government building, a garrison during the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite risings. In 1760 Kilchurn was damaged by lightning and abandoned.

Map and directions

Currently in the care of Historic Scotland, Kilchurn Castle is open to the public during the summer months by boat from Lochawe Pier or on foot from Dalmally, roughly a half-mile’s walk.

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Other castles in Argyll & Bute

Bullet Point Carrick Castle
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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
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