Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tour Scotland Duart Castle

Tour Scotland Duart Castle. Duart Castle enjoys one of the finest defensive positions in Europe. Perched on the promontory of Dubh Ard or 'black point', Duart sits at the junction of three seaways; the Firth of Lorne, Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull. Control of Duart brought control of the sea trade between the Hebrides and Ulster. Duart was also the key link in a chain of castles along the Sound that allowed a message to be transmitted by beacon from Dunollie near Oban to far Mingary on Ardnamurchan.

Dubh Ard has probably been fortified since ancient times. A castle of curtain wall and courtyard was certainly there by the 13th century and it fell into the hands of Clan Maclean during the 14th. Lachlan Lubanach Maclean may have built the first stone keep after 1370. On the landward side, Duart's walls were over three metres thick. Perhaps this was needed to keep out Ewan Maclaine, the headless warrior whose ghost was said to ride along Glen Mhor to the south west of the castle.

Duart's fate however was always linked to the sea. In the 1520s, Lachlan Cattanach earned the enduring hatred of the Campbells when he chained his barren wife Margaret Campbell to a rock, hoping to drown her. Margaret was saved by a passing fisherman but her relatives took their revenge all the same, murdering Lachlan in his bed in 1527. The waters around the castle saved Duart in 1653 when a sudden storm sank two of Cromwell's besieging ships. Originally vassals of the Lords of the Isles, Chief Lachlan was kidnapped in 1608 after dinner with the King's Lord Lieutenant on board a royal ship in the Sound of Mull. The price of Lachlan's freedom was the destruction of his war galleys and an oath of fealty to James VI.

Thus began the Macleans' unwavering loyalty to the House of Stewart which was to cost them dear. After coming out for the royalist Montrose, Sir Lachlan Maclean could not hold Duart against the superior forces of General Leslie in 1647. In the 1650s the Macleans of Duart lost more men and money aiding the royalist cause, principally in the disastrous Battle of Inverkeithing in 1651. Their reward was heavy debt and to fall into the financial clutches of the Campbells. Duart was besieged in 1674 and again in 1688. While Sir John Maclean led his men at Killicrankie, Campbell fleets bombarded Duart. The castle was finally lost after the defeat at Cairnburg Mhor in 1691. After the 1645 Rising, it briefly served as a garrison for Hanoverian troops who torched it when they left in 1751. The present day castle is the result of the impressive restoration masterminded by Sir Fitzroy Maclean.

Tour Aberdeen, Tour Edinburgh, Tour Glasgow, Tour Inverness, Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Isle of Skye. Tour Scotland. Ancestry Research Scotland.

No comments:

Post a Comment