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The Chatelaine's Scottish Castles

Barcaldine Castle

near Oban

Barcaldine Castle

Barcaldine Castle is situated west of the main road between Oban and Fort William. Sitting just a few hundred metres from the shore of Loch Creran, the castle can be found to the south-west of township of Barcaldine from which it takes its name.

Also known as the Black Castle perhaps due to the dark colour of its stones, this L-shaped construction was built in the 16th century by Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy who was also known as Black Duncan and Duncan of the Seven Castles. The building stayed in Campbell hands until it was sold in 1842 having already fallen into disrepair over a century earlier. Finally it was restored by new Campbell owners from 1896 - 1910. Said to be haunted by the Blue Lady, a Campbell maiden whose ghost who plays the piano!

The castle offers B&B accommodation in 6 bedrooms (including two 4-poster rooms) and has facilities for small weddings - check details on the Barcaldine Castle official web site.

There are excellent views over the loch towards Glencoe and in fact the castle is linked to the famous massacre. When the Jacobite clan chiefs were ordered by the Government to sign an oath of loyalty by 1 January 1692, MacIan of Glencoe (a branch of the MacDonalds) mistakenly set off for Inverlochy before realising he should have gone to Inveraray. He was forced by the bad winter weather to stay at Barcaldine Castle on his journey. Ultimately it was his late arrival that gave the Government the pretext for intervention and they sent troops to Glencoe where MacIan, his wife, 2 of his sons and many of his clan were killed. For more details about the massacre, see the Glencoe section of my page on Fort William.

Another historical link to the castle is with the famous Appin Murder which occurred in 1752 when Colin Campbell of Glenure ("The Red Fox") was shot and fatally wounded. His assailant escaped and an innocent man (James Stewart) was put to death. Colin's father was Patrick Campbell who lived at the castle until 1724.

For other info, consult the record by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

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