Campbell Castle

Castle Campbell, Fife


Dollar, 10 miles East of Stirling


off A91


FK14 7PP

Castle Campbell is strongly and beautifully situated on a rocky spur between two ravines of the Burn of Care and the Burn of Sorrow. The original name of the stronghold was 'the Castle of Gloume', but the Earl of Argyll disliked the name and changed it by act of Parliament in 1489. This fine tower stands 60 feet high to its parapets with walls over 6 feet thick. It has four storeys and a pit prison in the basement.

~ History ~

1100's - The site may originally been a 12th century motte or ringwork castle.

1460's - The castle then standing is destroyed by Walter Steart of Lorne.

1480's - Colin Campbell, Earl of Argyll, ambassador to England and France, Justiciar of Southern Scotland and Lord High Chancellor to the Scottish king James III, obtained most of Gloume estate and is assumed to have built the tower house before his death in 1493.

1489 - Among many rewards for loyal service was an act of Parliament allowing the name of Castle Gloume (or Gloom) to be changed to Castle Campbell.

1566 - A great and famous puritan who visited Archibald, the 4th Earl of Argyll, and taught at the castle was John Knox. Local tradition has it that he preached sermons to a great multitude before leaving Scotland for France and Geneva, standing perched on a rocky eminence in the immediate vicinity of the castle.

1640's - Archibald, 8th Earl of Argyll, took a major part in upholding the Parliamentary cause, in particular against his personal enemy, Montrose.

1654 - The castle became the chief lowland seat of the Earls of Argyll. They frequently resided there until it was destroyed by fire, probably in 1654 by Royalists in protest against the occupation by Cromwellian troops. In a letter to Cromwell dated 1654 General Monck wrote 'some small parties of the Enemy are abroad in the country and on Monday and Tuesday nights last burnt Castle Campbell an House belonging to the Marquesse of Argyll'.

1661 - Archibald, 8th Earl of Argyll, is executed in Edinburgh for his part in proclaiming Cromwell as Lord Protector.

1684 - The 9th Earl of Argyll was also executed after leading a protestant rebellion against the Duke of York's rule of Scotland. The castle was thus not repaired and remained in ruins.

1689 - The Scotish King William III makes the 9th Earl of Argyll a Duke. Thereafter the principle seat of the Campbell's was Inverary Castle.

1800's - The Argyll's finally severed their connection with the castle when the 6th Duke sold it.

1880's - Long overdue repairs are carried out.