Kilchurn Castle is a Campbell castle
situated 2 miles west of the small
village of Dalmally, 22 miles east of
next to the main A85 road to Oban.
The castle is known for its scenic
setting by the loch with mountains all
around. About 1 mile along the road
towards Oban there is also St Conans Kirk
to visit, as well as the Loch Awe
Hotel and Ben Cruachan
Inn. The Cruachan
Power Station with a visitor centre
is 5 miles west along the road towards
The Castle can be visited throughout
the summer free of charge. Postcode: PA33
See also a large Click On Map for Top
Attractions in the area.
The image top is from the half mile long
path from the car park out to the castle. Very
occasionally high water levels can cover the
path so visits cannot be made. The narrow lane
into the car park can be easily missed as there
are no signs and there are trees either side of
Kilchurn Castle is situated at the
northeastern end of Loch Awe, third
largest freshwater loch in Scotland after Loch
Ness, and the largest Loch Lomond. It was built
in the mid 1400s for the Campbell's of
Glenorchy who were becoming the dominant Clan
in the area at that time.
1100s - the area around Loch Awe was home to
a number of Clans such as the Campbell's,
Macarthurs, MacGregors, and Stewarts.
1414 - Duncan Campbell, 1st Lord Campbell,
became head of the Campbell's of Loch Awe.
1450? - Kilchurn Castle was the first of
many castle built for the Campbell's throughout
the Central Highlands of Scotland as they
became the prominent Clan in the area.
Campbell's would become the most notable Clan
that helped Government Forces defeat the
The original castle was a five-storey tower
house, with a courtyard and outer wall. Before
the water levels on Loch Awe were lowered by a
drainage project in 1817, the castle was on a
small island accessed by a causeway.
The original Castle was extended over the
1513 - Duncan Campbell, 2nd Lord of
Glenorchy, was one of the many Scottish nobles
killed at the Battle of
Flodden. This battle took place after James
IV of Scotland declared war on England to help
the French who were at war with England at the
time. The English won the battle with James IV
killed in combat.
1614 - Sir Duncan Campbell (Black Duncan)
had the south range of the castle rebuilt and
enlarged, also adding a chapel in the
1688 - King James II Stuart was deposed in
Revolution, becoming the last Roman
Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and
He was succeeded to the throne by the
protestant Mary II Stuart and her husband
William of Orange.
This led to a number of Clans in Scotland
wanting the restoration of Catholic Stuart's to
the throne. These Clans were known as Jacobite's.
These Clans included: Athol Highlanders,
Fraser, MacClachlan, MacClean, MacGillivray,
Mackintosh, Macdonald, and McGregor. Some Clans
had men fighting on both sides.
There were also a number of Clans that
remained loyal to the Protestant Monarchs.
These Clan members were formed into
Regiments such as the Argyll Militia, Black
Watch, and Loudon's Highlanders.
1689 - Sir John Campbell, 5th Baronet, was
involved in negotiating with Jacobite rebels to
try and prevent uprisings in the Highlands. As
tensions rose throughout the highlands, Sir
John converted Kilchurn Castle into barracks to
hold up to 200 government troops.
1715 - Sir John changed sides when he joined
the Earl of Mar's First Jacobite
The failure of that rising led the
pro-government Alexander Campbell of Fonab
taking control of Kilchurn Castle and holding
Sir John under house arrest until his death the
1745 - Kilchurn Castle was used to house
government troops during the Second Jacobite
These Rebellions led to more government
barracks being built around the highlands to
prevent any further wars.
1746 - the Battle of Culloden sees
Jacobite forces defeated by Government troops.
This was the last major battle to take place on
the British mainland.
Many Jacobite's were executed at this time,
with many more forced to emigrate to the
1760 - Kilchurn Castle was damaged by
lightning and abandoned. The turret of a tower
is still in the courtyard where it landed after
1783 - America won independence from the
Great Britain, leading to Jacobite's and other
Scots accused of crimes from that time being
transported to Australia and New Zealand.
1817 - the water level in Loch Awe was
lowered by a drainage project leading to the
castle now being on a peninsula.
1882 - the head of the Campbell's took up
residence in their large new built Taymouth Castle
48 miles northeast.
Kilchurn Castle is now run by Historic
Environment Scotland as a tourist attraction
open to the public free of charge during the
High water levels at times may prevent
visits by walking out from the car park.