The castle was the seat of the clan MacDougall, Lords of Lorn, who were a significant force in Scottish history – at one point they owned a third of Scotland.
The MacDougalls were previous resident in Dunstaffanage Castle which was taken from their care, declared a royal castle by Robert the Bruce and the Campbells made keepers. Dunollie Castle is situated on the Ganavan road approximately a mile to the north of Oban. It sits overlooking the small strait between the mainland and the island of Kerrera, which is also owned by the MacDougall estate.
Oban’s oldest surviving building, captured by the Irish Loarn brothers in 498. The brothers also gave name to the region around the castle, today known as Lorn. This Castle was built in the 12th century, probably by Ewan MacDougall, 3rd chief of the MacDougalls. The MacDougalls who occupied this castle were descended from King Somerled. The site was originally used in the 7th century, as Dun Ollaigh, and abandoned in 1746. From the bay, you can barely see the castle.
In 1685 the castle burned down, garrisoned by government troops in 1745, served as a temporary prison for Flora McDonald, when she was arrested after assisting Prince Charlie in his attempt to flee the prison in 1746. The castle underwent several modifications and additions, and the courtyard buildings remained occupied until the 1800s.
The ruin is accessible by a short, steep path. There is no entrance fee, there is a small layby at the foot of the hill. With enough space to park two cars, care must be taken because the layby is on a busy road. There was a fortification on this high promontory in the days of the kingdom of Dál Riata which was the royal centre of the Cenél Loairn.
Dunollie Clan MacDougall Centre
Dunollie House is an old and important house, dating back at its earliest to before 1617. It is a warren of fascinating rooms, and some of you will have experienced its special historic magic on visits to the house. Some of the house will be retained as the Clan Chief’s private residence, but the oldest and most atmospheric rooms, which make up more than half of the house, will be open to the public. Facilities at Dunollie will be improved to include a tearoom and a shop will be established to sell books, CD-ROMs, jewelry and clan badges and a wide range of other goods which will be of interest to Clan members and the general public.
The MacDougall McCallum Heritage Foundation was formed to aid in the establishment of a public heritage center in Oban that will preserve, document, catalog and house the Hope McDougall Collection and other artifacts from Clan history. The Hidden Jewel, and then steered the logistically complex production around the grounds and castle at Dunollie. Sadie has been shortlisted for the Leadership Award, which is richly deserved.
MacDougall McCallum Heritage Foundation plans to open an exciting visitor facility at Dunollie House in Oban are now at a point where members of the worldwide Clan MacDougall are invited to become involved. After considerable research into visitor requirements and markets, and issues of long term sustainability, the MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust believes it has devised a package which delivers access and facilities to members of the Clan MacDougall, while also meeting the needs and interests of the general visiting public. The Clan Centre and Museum will be in the original 18th century house and the North Wing. The rest of Dunollie House will continue as the Clan Chief’s private residence.
Contact Dunollie Castle:
Past the War Memorial
Oban, Argyll PA34 Scotland
Tel: +44 (1631) 563122
Fax: +44 (1631) 562473
Fig: Dunollie castle, Oban
Dunstaffnage Castle And Chapel
Dunstaffnage Castle is a partially ruined castle in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It lies 3 miles (4.8 km) N.N.E. of Oban, situated on a platform of conglomerate rock on a promontory at the south-west of the entrance to Loch Etive, and is surrounded on three sides by the sea.
Fig: Dunstaffnage Castle And Chapel
The castle was first built in the 6th century by the Kings of Dalriada when they migrated from Ireland to Scotland. Rumours say that the Stone of Destiny, which played a key role in the crowning ceremony of the Scottish kings until about 1292, was kept here.
A chapel was constructed outside of the castle walls by the Lords of Lorn. There is a burial aisle of Dunstaffnage Campbells. The Campbells added this gate entrance along with the gate tower inside for additional protection.
Most of the grounds and gardens are suitable for visitors using wheelchairs or with limited mobility, but the castle itself isn’t. Double doors in the shop allow wheelchair access and there is adequate space in the centre for visitors using wheelchairs to view all stock.
Large grassed areas are suitable for relaxing or picnics in a peaceful setting with a wealth of birdsong.
Contact Dunstaffnage Castle And Chapel
Dunbeg, By Oban
Argyll PA37 1PZ Scotland
Tel: +44 (1631) 562465
Fig: Dunstaffnage Castle
Dunollie Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle And Chapel
Scottish West Coast Oban