When Dunstaffnage Castle was built by Duncan MacDougall, Lord of Lorn around 1220, Argyll lay on the frontier between the kingdoms of Scotland and Norway. Neither king controlled the region directly.
One of the oldest stone castles in Scotland, Dunstaffnage was in use as a lordly residence for nearly six centuries, and was only abandoned in 1810. Features surviving from the 13th century include the curtain wall (or outer bailey), the three projecting towers and the chapel.
|Me standing in front of the curtain--just to give an idea of Dunstaffnage's size|
|The inner courtyard|
|The Wall Walk|
|The view from the Wall Walk|
|I just couldn't get enough of lovely Loch Etive|
|The Chapel (in ruins) A Short Walk from the Castle|
|Inside the Chapel|
1098: King Edgar officially cedes the old kingdom of Dal Riata (now western Scotland and the Western Isles) to Magnus of Norway. In reality, both kings share power.
1140: Somerled emerges as undisputed ruler of the ruler as King of the Isles, a title he keeps until his death in 1164.
1220: Dunstaffnage Castle is begun by Somerled's grandson, Duncan. In 1230, he establishes Ardchattan Priory and helps King Hakon of Norway capture Scottish Lands
1240's: Alexander II of Scotland intensifies efforts to recover lost territory. He negotiates with Duncan's son, Ewen, the new King of the Isles. Ewan joins with his cousin, Hakon of Norway, and repels Alexander II's advances.
1260: Alexander III begins his personal reign--and drives out Hakon of Norway.
1266: The Treaty of Perth brings western Scotland under Scottish rule for the first time in 250 years. Ewen entrenches himself at Dunstaffnage, probably adding the corner towers.
1296: Edward I of England invades Scotland. In the ensuing war, the MacDougalls support the sidelined King John.
1306: Robert the Bruce seizes the Scottish throne, and in 1308 routs the MacDougalls and lays siege to Dunstaffnage.
1431: James I acts against rebellious Islesmen, hanging 300 at Dunstaffnage.
1470: James III grants Dunstaffnage to Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll. Aside from a few years in the 17th century, the castle remains in Campbell hands until the 20th Century.
1725: The "New House" built as a free-standing two-story residence.
1908: The 9th Duke of Argyll engages in a dispute with the 20th captain of Dunstaffnage over rival bids to restore the castle for domestic use. The court ruled in favor of the keeper who had right of residence. During the first world war, the roof of the new house collapsed. When the 21st captain succeeded in 1958, he and the duke agreed to entrust the castle into State care.
A few things to mention: I'm very excited to say, my novel, Chihuahua Momma, will be released by Turquoise Morning Press on July 28, 2013!! Check out their web site: Turquoise Morning Press
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