Scottish Castles Photo Library
- Dunollie Castle, Argyll

Dunollie Castle

There was a fortification on this high promontory overlooking the sea, north of the present day town of Oban, in the days of the kingdom of Dalriada in the 7th century. But the existing castle dates mainly from the 15th century, when John Stewart of Lorn returned the estates to the MacDougalls (who had lost the land after fighting against Robert the Bruce and siding with MacDougall kinsmen, the Comyns). The MacDougalls were direct descendants of Somerled, Lord of the Isles, at a time when the Western Isles were part of Norway.

In 1644 the castle was captured by the Marquis of Argyll but was restored to the MacDougalls in 1661. John MacDougall of that Ilk, the 22nd chief, raised 500 men and fought at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in the 1715 Jacobite Uprising. He narrowly escaped transportation. His son, Alexander, wisely refrained from joining the 1745 Uprising (as did the Campbells). In 1746 the MacDougalls abandoned Dunollie Castle and built nearby Dunollie House.

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