Airds Castle

Airds Castle, Kintyre, Argyle

~ History ~

1493 ~ John MacDonald Lord of the Isles, semi-independant ruler of much of Western Scotland, forfeits his entire estates, titles and all of its castles to King James IV of Scotland upon charge of treason.

The powerful MacDonald and Douglas clans had made a secret treaty with King Edward IV of England some thirty years earlier, which would see a victorious English King grant the Highlands to the MacDonalds and Lowlands to the Douglases, in place of a defeated Scottish King, who had long plotted the downfall of these powerful clans.

Unfortunately for both clans the Wars of the Roses English civil war  presevented Yorkist intervention in Scotland, with the treaty being discovered many years later with the power of both clans effectively destroyed by the Scottish crown.

Airds Castle which helped to defend the border between the lands controlled by the Lord of the Isles and the lands of the King, pass to the Crown.

1498 ~ King James IV of Scotland grants the castle to the Ayrshire landholder Sir Adam Reid of Stairquhite and Barskimming, together with other property in the same area.

1550's ~ Airds Castle and its lands are part of the barony of Bar, in North Kintyre, held by the MacDonalds of Dunnyveg.

1605 ~ The lands and castle are regained by the Reid family of Barskimming.

1661 ~ The MacDonald's arch enemies the Campbell's are in possession of Carradale.

1715 ~ During the Jacobite rising the Campbell's fight for the Hanovarian Government against many of the Highland clans.






Nr PA28 6SG

Airds Castle is a very ruinous castle overgrown with bracken hidden away in a beautiful location. In short not an easy castle to find. Park in the picturesque harbour car park in Carrodale where you will find a sign for the castle pointing towards a row of white cottages. You will find there is a track next to Seaview Cottage. Follow this to a gate that takes you into a field next to a golfing range. Head towards the shoreline and with a keen eye you'll eventually find what is left of the castle, albeit the site suggests more hidden under dense bracken in need of excavation.

The castle once commanded an imposing position on the summit of a rocky headland between Carradale harbour and the bay of Port Righ, looking across Kilbrannan Sound to the Isle of Arran.