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Kilchurn Castle

K
ilchurn Castle is a ruined 15th and 17th century structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Access to the Castle is sometimes restricted by higher-than-usual levels of water in the Loch, at which times the site effectively becomes a temporary island.

It was the ancestral home of the Campbells of Glen Orchy, who later became the Earls of Breadalbane also known as the Breadalbane family branch, of the Clan Campbell. The earliest construction on the castle was the towerhouse and Laich Hall (looks onto Loch Awe).

Kilchurn Castle was built in about 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy, as a five storey tower house with a courtyard defended by an outer wall. By about 1500 an additional range and a hall had been added to the south side of the castle. Further buildings went up during the 16th and 17th centuries. Kilchurn was on a small island in Loch Awe scarcely larger than the castle itself, although it is now connected to the mainland as the water level was altered in 1817. The castle would have been accessed via an underwater or low lying causeway.

At the turn of the 16th century Kilchurn Castle was extended by Sir Duncan Campbell with the addition of a single storey dining hall built along the inside of the south curtain. During the second half of the century, another Sir Colin Campbell, the 6th Laird, continued to improve the castle´s accommodation by adding some chambers to the north of the tower house, and remodelling the parapet. This included the introduction of the circular corner turrets adorned by corbels, most of which have survived remarkably well.

Towards the end of the 16th century the Clan MacGregor of Glenstrae were occupying the castle. Once owning the lands of Glenorchy during the 14th century, until they passed through marriage to the Campbells, the MacGregors were appointed keepers to Kilchurn Castle as the Campbells spent much of their time at Fincharn. This arrangement lasted until the very early part of the 17th century, when a violent feud between the two families brought it to an end and the Campbells retook possession.

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9:30 am, Monday 08 september 2014
Short bus stop on the way to Inverlochy castle.

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