Kildonan Castle, Isle of Arran
Kildonan, South coast of Arran
B road off A841
Kildonan Castle is a 13th century ruined tower located on a rocky plateau on south coast on the Isle of Arran. It was built on the site of an earlier tower and was once the stronghold of the MacDonald's, Lord of the Isles. Below the castle beaches provide the perfect landing facility for the MacDonald birlins and galleys.
The castle itself was protected by cliffs on the east side and a deep ravine on the north, with gun loops added later.
The castle's name, shared with the much older Kildonan Dun on nearby Kintyre, derives from the Irish monk St Donan who lived on the island in the 16th century.
Access to the castle is a real problem as its located to the rear of private gardens. However, one lovely lady did provide me with access over her wall to the castle to have a look round. The photos are credited to her with thanks.
~ History ~
1406 ~ King Robert III of Scotland grants his illegitimate son John of Ardgowan part of southern Arran, including 'Kildonan, with the castle'.
1544 ~ James Stewart inherits Kildonan Castle from his late father Ninian, Sherriff of Bute. However, within the year he is dispossessed by the Hamilton's in retribution for an attack on Brodick Castle. The castle is used as a hunting lodge.
1558 ~ The English under the command of the Earl of Sussex, attacks and burns Kildonan during extensive raids in the area against the Scots. The castle is allowed to gradually fall into ruin.