tower house
15th century

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NS 194 944
west shore of
Loch Goil
4m s of Lochgioilhead
s of B839


open site
exterior only


Clan Campbell


Carrick Castle

We drove all the way to the end of Loch Goil, on a little bitty narrow road, by all of the "holiday homes" on the banks, to find this small tower -- I only wish it had been a less rainy day, the loch was beautiful.

at the end of the road, at the end of the loch

15th Century Tower

This small tower juts out into the loch, connected by only a small neck of land. The tower dates from the 15th century, but like many other castles, it is likey that it was built on the foundations of an earlier fortification, possibly from the 13th century.

The tower is three storeys and an attic, and is currently roofed. The parapet does not overhang the wall, although with the new roofline, it is not clear if there was a wider wallwalk. There was probably a tiny courtyard on the rock, but no traces of the wallremain. My notes do say that there was a ditch and drawbridge on the landward side, though!

The tower is 21m x 11.3m, and the walls are an impressive 2.3m thick at ground level. THere are gunloops facing the loch on three sides, but none on the landward side..

The tower has two entrances from the courtyard, one to the ground floor and the second to the first storey -- there is no internal staircase connecting the two. The ground floor rooms are not vaulted, which is unusual - most cellars are vaulted, the barrell vaults giving strength to the foundations. The hall, on the first storey, has fine arched windows and deorations. Staircases in this room lead to the upper storey (living quarters) and the attic and parapet. ALl the room inside span the full space of the tower - there would have been wooden partitions making rooms of the large space. This is espeically true of the third story, which looks to be three rooms, each with their own latrine closet and stairway. There are actually quite a few latrine chutes in the castle, suggesting a variety of private rooms.

The strnage concave corner (it is chamfered above) on the loch-side

One corrner of the castle is rather strange -- we've seen curners that are rounded out on a number of castles, but this is a concave corner, as if a round tower was snugged up here and is now gone.


In the 13th century, the fortification here may have been a hunting lodge belonging to the King. The lands are associated with the Lamont family, but in 1368 passed to the Campbells, the Earls of Argyll (who seem to own a LOT of castles in this area). Likely, they built the first castle here (or possibly Robert III did)

In the 1420s, the castle was associated with Duncan Campbell, but isn't really mentioned as a 'castle' until 1529. In that year, and in 1541, it is recorded as being granted to the wives of Archibald, Earl of Argyll. The current castle was built at some time in the 15th century, probably still under the control of the Campbells, and Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here in 1563.

the tower in a rare beam of sunlight

In the 17th century, it was sacked and burned, and eventualy was deeded to the Earls of Dunmore.

It is currently being restored.

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