Craignish Castle

Craignish Castle, Knapdale, Argyle

Craignish Castle (1)
Craignish Castle (2)
Craignish Chapel (3)
Craignish Chapel (2)
Craignish Chapel (1)


Near Ardfern,

Craignish Peninsula




PA31 8QS.

Craignish Castle is a three storey tower built in the mid 19th century incorperating the basement of its 16th century predessesor. The result is really quite disappointing.

The road up to the castle is really quite beautiful and the nearby chapel, dedicated to the 7th century Celtic missionary,  ´Red Monk´, Maol Rudh, a kinsman of St. Columba,  its highlight.

~ History ~

1240's ~ The Viking's are finally forced out of Chreiginis, meaning 'rocky headland in Norse.

1414 ~ Sir Duncan Campell grants the lands of Craignish peninsula to clan MacCallum.  

1510 ~ Ranald MacCallum is made hereditary keeper of Craignish castle. 

1544 ~ The MacCallum direct line ends, and the rightful heir and relative by the name of Charles Campbell, kills Gillie of Glenmore in a brawl. He is compelled to flee Perthshire to seek santuary amongst his powerful Campbell relatives. This act however prevents him from claiming his estates in Craignish. The lands therefore for into the hands of the Earls of Argyll.

1546 ~ Craignish Tower, built upon the ruins of a castle centuries older, is finally completed with the roof finally added.

1646 ~ Craignish Castle withstands a siege for six weeks by the Campbell's arch rivals the MacDonalds, led by Colkitto MacDonald. Colkitto is a paid mercenary of Clan MacDonald, who twenty years earlier had become Laird of Colonsay through treachery. His name means "Coll the left-handed" or "the crafty" and is known throughout the Islands of Argyll as a pirate and captain of the MacDonalds who is merciless in his pursuit of Campbell lands and interests.

1647 ~ The infamous Colkitto is executed at the aged of 77 at the MacDonald's stronghold of Dunyvaig Castle, having been finally captured by the Campbells who he had attacked, robbed and harassed throughout his life.

1715 ~ Dougald Campbell of Craignish Castle signs an oath of allegiance to King George I of England.

1852 ~ The Campbell's finally leave Craignish Castle, with the Gascoignes its new owners.