Kilchurn Castle - Sarah Woodbury

Kilchurn Castle

Kilchurn castle is a medieval castle first built in the middle of the 15th century by the Campbells of Glenorchy. It is located on the northeastern end of Loch Awe in Scotland.

From the 1400s, the Campbells were one of the most powerful clans in the Scottlish Highlands. For the next 150 years, they grew in power until they controlled most of the area, with Kilchurn being an important seat. By the 1700s, however, the Campbells were walking a line between support of the Protestant king William and the Catholic Jacobites. The Campbell fortunes went into a steep decline after the English takeover of Scotland, and by 1770, the castle was abandoned.

The castle was initially built as a five-story tower house, but was expanded in subsequent years to include a curtain wall that encompassed more structures, including a dining hall and bed chambers. Because the Campbell laird supported the Jacobite rebellion, in the 18th century the castle was taken over by the king’s forces and turned into a barracks until after the final defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden in 1745, after which the remaining Campbells unsuccessfully tried to sell the castle to the government. The castle remains a photogenic ruin.


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