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The Chatelaine's Scottish Castles

Dunstaffnage Castle
near Oban

Dunstaffnage Castle
Photos copyright The Internet Guide to Scotland 2006

Dunstaffnage Castle is located 5 miles north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland.

Once the capital of Dalriada, the original Kingdom of the Scots, it was to here that The Stone of Destiny was brought over from Ireland via Iona. In the mid-ninth century with the Norsemen attacking from the west, the seat of power was moved to Scone, near Perth. The Stone was used at the coronations of subsequent Scottish kings until it was taken by Edward I to Westminster Abbey in 1296. The Stone was returned to Scotland on Saint Andrews' Day, 30 November 1996 and can now be seen in Edinburgh Castle.

Dunstaffnage Castle Dunstaffnage Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle looks square and impenetrable with round towers. A MacDougall stronghold until 1309, it was seized by Robert the Bruce who appointed the chief of The MacArthurs as Captain of the Castle. Later, the Earls of Argyll appointed Campbells as captains to oversee Dunstaffnage on their behalf.
Bonne Prince Charlie's heroine, Flora MacDonald, was held prisoner here for a short time in 1746.
For further historical details - visit Wikipedia


The castle is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. Open all year: April-September 9.30am-5.30pm, October-March 10am-4pm. In winter, it is closed on Thursday and Friday. Admission charge. Telephone: 01631 562465.

There is a small exhibition next to the gift shop.

The castle is said to have a ghost in a green dress, apparently a 'glaistig', a fairy woman, heralding events in the lives of the Campbell family.

You can also look around the ruined 13th-century chapel if you follow the path down the left-hand side. History recounts that the last Stewart Lord of Lorne died on the threshold whilst reciting his marriage vows. You can see the skull and cross bones symbol on the gravestones. Apparently people have been known to come across old teeth and things scattered around here. Ooooer....


Check out the great photos online by Phil Wright.

Other information on Dunstaffnage Castle is available on the Clan Campbell Castle Page.

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