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Kilchurn Castle, Dalmally

A Scheduled Monument in Oban North and Lorn, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.4038 / 56°24'13"N

Longitude: -5.0275 / 5°1'38"W

OS Eastings: 213282

OS Northings: 727621

OS Grid: NN132276

Mapcode National: GBR 01.0JK2

Mapcode Global: WH1HX.R94L

Entry Name: Kilchurn Castle, Dalmally

Scheduled Date: 21 May 1937

Last Amended: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90179

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Glenorchy and Inishail

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument consists of the substantial remains of a late medieval castle built on a rocky promontory at the NE end of Loch Awe.

The castle consists of a four-storey tower at its most eastern angle with other ranges forming a courtyard to the W of the tower. The tower was built in the mid-15th century by Sir Colin Campbell, 1st of Glenorchy. The upper storey was reworked in the third quarter of the 16th century by Sir Colin Campbell, 6th of Glenorchy, who introduced the corbelled angle-rounds. To the S of the tower originally stood a laigh hall.

One wall of this building survives as part of the outer wall of the castle. Between the site of the laigh hall and the tower is a two-storey range (with garret) which is first on record in 1614 but appears to have been substantially altered in the rebuildings of 1690-98.

At this time John, 1st Earl of Breadalbane, rebuilt the whole of the N side of the castle as a three storey barracks with garret. He also added the three corner towers and a new stair to the tower. The building was unroofed by about 1770. Outside the walls of the castle can still be made out a defensive ditch to the N and E and the remains of a stone-built boat landing.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan. It is defined to the S by the edge of the loch. To the NW it is defined by a line between two points; one on the water's edge 120m WSW of the E corner of the castle, the other 80m NNW of the E corner of the castle. To the N the area is defined by a line from the point 80m NNW of the E corner of the castle to a point 50m NNE of the same corner.

To the E the area is defined by a line running SW from the point 50m NNE of the E corner of the castle to the water's edge. The area is irregular in shape, measuring 160m ENE-WSW by 100m NNW-SSE and is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a very well-preserved late medieval castle. The building formed the base for the western end of the Breadalbane estates and was used as a government military base in Argyll in the 17th century. The barrack blocks, while more simply built than the tower, are particularly important as some of the earliest purpose-built barracks in Europe.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NW 12 NW 5.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Kilchurn Castle
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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