Kilchurn Castle, Dalmally

#1 of 6 in Things to do in Dalmally
Kilchurn Castle is a ruined structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was first constructed in the mid-15th century as the base of the Campbells of Glenorchy, who extended both the castle and their territory in the area over the next 150 years. After the Campbells became Earls of Breadalbane and moved to Taymouth Castle, Kilchurn fell out of use and was in ruins by 1770. It is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland and is open to the public in summer.
The Campbells of Glenorchy were the most powerful cadet branch of the Clan Campbell, and over two centuries from the 1430s came to dominate the central Highlands. The building of several castles, of which Kilchurn was the first, was a key part of their territorial expansion during this period. Sir Colin Campbell, 1st of Glenorchy (died 1475), was a younger son of Duncan Campbell, 1st Lord Campbell, ancestor of the Earls of Argyll. Sir Colin was granted Glen Orchy and other lands by his father in 1432, and afterwards established Kilchurn around 1450. The first castle comprised the five-storey tower house, with a courtyard defended by an outer wall. At the time Kilchurn was on a small island scarcely larger than the castle itself, and would have been accessed via an underwater or low-lying causeway.
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Kilchurn Castle Reviews
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  • The ruins of this castle are interesting to visit but the real treat is viewing the castle from across the Loch. It is a nice walk to the edge of the loch on the other side to view the castle. The per...  more »
  • ... to the ruins of Loch Ave. Although only a ruin stands on Lake Ave, it evokes in me memories of old times when it was still inhabited. Something mystical comes from the ruins, it leads to dreaming. Add to that this beautiful landscape all around. I took two minutes for the sketch.
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  • Great spot for a stop off and it's only a short walk from the road/car park. Would be great if there was more info about the history (usage and construction) but it's also nice to be able to do your own tour.
  • Situated at the head of Loch Awe just a outside the village of Dalmally. Kilchurn Castle is in an idyllic location right beside the loch. Free to visit with ample parking and a mobile food outlet providing hot and cold food and drink.
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