Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel, Oban

4.1
#1 of 6 in Historic Sites in Oban
Dunstaffnage Castle is a partially ruined castle in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It lies 3mi N.N.E. of Oban, situated on a platform of conglomerate rock on a promontory at the south-west of the entrance to Loch Etive, and is surrounded on three sides by the sea.The castle dates back to the 13th century, making it one of Scotland's oldest stone castles, in a local group which includes Castle Sween and Castle Tioram. Guarding a strategic location, it was built by the MacDougall lords of Lorn, and has been held since the 15th century by the Clan Campbell. To this day there is a hereditary Captain of Dunstaffnage, although they no longer reside at the castle. Dunstaffnage is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is open to the public, although the 16th century gatehouse is retained as the private property of the Captain. The prefix dun in the name means "fort" in Gaelic, while the rest of the name derives from Norse stafr-nis, "headland of the staff".HistoryBefore DunstaffnageBefore the construction of the castle, Dunstaffnage may have been the location of a Dál Riatan stronghold, known as Dun Monaidh, as early as the 7th century. It was recorded, by John Monipennie in 1612, that the Stone of Destiny was kept here after being brought from Ireland, and before it was moved to Scone Palace in 843. However, Iona and Dunadd are considered more likely, given their known connections with Dál Riatan and Strathclyde kings. Hector Boece records that the stone was kept at "Evonium", which has traditionally been identified with Dunstaffnage, although in 2010 the writer A. J. Morton identified Evonium with Irvine in Ayrshire.
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Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel Reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Ruins of a castle with a burnt-out chapel. The towers overlook the surrounding area. But basically nothing extra interesting and within an hour you pass everything.
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  • A small castle but it was a very interesting. Good to see the timeline in the room above the shop. The castle is small but nice to walk around and then a walk through the trees to see the chapel. Some...  more »
Google
  • Small but interesting castle with a lot of history. There's a little visitor center up the steps behind the shop which we almost missed. Most of the castle is still accessible. Easy to get to out and plenty of parking. English Heritage members get in free!
  • A small castle but grand building set in a fantastic location with good views all around and a private chapel hidden in nearby woods. Lots of history and information all around the site. The staff are very friendly and helpful and they have a quiz for the kids to do as well. There are some toilets on-site too with a small shop and a smallish car park with a 150m or so walk from the car park to the castle, but you can drive closer for disabilities. Access inside the cast would be difficult for non-able bodied as you need to go up some (approx 10m) steep steps.
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