courtyard castle
15th century

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NN 133 276
Argyll & Bute
on Loch Awe
2.5m w of Dalmally
of A85



open Apr-Sep
access from A85
under the railroad bridge


Kilchurn Site
Historic Scotland
Undiscovered Scotland
Castle Explorer


Kilchurn Castle

We slogged out into the bog (where it tried to suck my shoes off) to get pictures of the castle here -- one of the most photographed castles, and I can see why. It is accessible more closely by boat from a nearby hotel, and you can apparently walk to the site from under a railroad bridge on the other side ofthe loch. From the side we were on (the "viewpoint", it's a wet slog across a vvery, very moist field.

looking across loch awe to the castle on a misty day

15th century castle

Sitting on low land on the shores of Loch Awe, this is one pretty castle, especially on a misty day when the clouds roll in through the hills. The castle occupies a ricky outcropping into the loch, which was probably at one time an island.

The castle dates from the 15th century, with a four storey keep and courtyard wall, with buildings added in the 16th and 17th centuries. The tower house was probably built in the 1440s, and the long hall was added by the 2nd larid in the late 15th century.

The catle is roughtly rectangular, with one angled corner, which contains some of the earliest stretched of walling. The rest of the courtyard is early 17th century and fills in the space with a long housing block that extends out from the rectangular tower, which measures 14.7m x 10.4m. There is a small entranceway directly into the tower, whih is the only external entrance to the castle. The tower is also entered from the couryard via a small round turret stair.

A range of rooms on the north side were added in 1583 or so, along with the bartizans on the tower corners. The buildings on the current north wall are barracks rooms linked by a long corridor on both storeys, accessed by a round stair turret tucked into the northeast corner.

a view ofthe fields leading up to the castle

THe basement contains the kitchens, and the first floor hall is simple with only a small fireplace. Anything above that is ruined.

A very odd hillock in the loch, which may have been a crannog?

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