List of Sites
A combined tower house and hall, now a well preserved ruin, situated on top of a ridge at the head of Kilmartin valley. It was built by John Carswell, Bishop of the Isles between 1565 and 1572 and was partly remodelled in the late 17th c. An earlier Castle or defence is suggested by a wall line surrounding a promontory to the north of the present structure.
The building consists of a five storey tower with parapet, three storey hall and four storey stair tower. The construction is lime-mortared random rubble and it was originally harled. Architectural details to note are corbelled angle turrets on the tower, carved water spouts and various horizontal gunports and vertical pistol loops. There is also an elaborately carved architectural frame above a doorway in the E wall of the staircase tower which incorporates a shield with the arms of Archibald Campbell 5th Earl of Argyll and his wife Jean Stewart, daughter of King James V.
The building had a vaulted service basement which included the kitchen, where an arched fireplace, oven and water inlet (carved as an open mouthed face) can be seen. The floors above had joisted wooden ceilings supported on runner-beams and corbels. Most of the upper chambers had their own garderobe. Architectural details to note include various doorways and fireplaces with moulded surrounds in the upper floors of the tower and hall.
The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open to the public.
- Inventory of Stirlingshire, 2, No.299
- Adams, D "Scottish Architctural Decoration, c.1560-c.1650" (Edinburgh University dissertation, 1977; copy in NMRS)
- Thomson, R L (ed.) "Foirm Na n-Urrnuidheadh" (Scottish Gaelic Texts Society, 1970), 3, 13, 181, and passim
- Bannerman, J "Two early post-Reformation inscriptions in Argyll", PSAS 105 (1972-4), 307-12
- Kist, 21 (1981) 11-14
- AT, 20 October 1436
- SHS Misc., 4, 239,258
- RMS, 3 (1513-46), no.826; 4 (1546-80), no.1592
- Geog.Coll., 2, 148
- Campbell, "Argyll Sasines", 1, nos.23, 258, 288, 300; 2, nos.456, 1050
- Valuation Roll, 1751. A sketch of the castle with its two towers is included in Pont's map of about 1590 (Pont MS maps, no.15)
- "Highland Papers", 1, 170, 174-5, 190-2, and 142-94, passim.
- NSA, 7 (Argyll), 555-8
- "Atholl Chronicles", 1, 248, 253-4,
- "Hist.MSS Comm.," 12th Report (appendix, part 8), p.13, no.20, p.23, no.55
- SRO, E 69/3/1, p.23
- "Edinburgh Evening Courant", 9 July 1825
Mid-Argyll Sites and Artefacts
Mayo - Vestvågøy - Mid-Argyll
This project has been supported by the EU as part of the Culture 2000 programme.