Loch Dochart Castle, Highlands
~ History ~
1583 ~ Black Duncan Campbell becomes 7th Laird of Glenorchy and inherits Kilchurn Castle in Loch Awe and Balloch Castle in Kenmore.
He sets about the building of his own castle in Loch Dochart.
He also schemes to outlaw the neighbouring clan, the McGregor's, in order to seize their lands and property.
1584 ~ Duncan is appointed 7th Earl of Argyll by King James VI of Scotland. The following year he is also knighted.
1590 ~ Duncan's scheming against neighbouring clans continues in acquiring Achallader Castle from the Fletchers by trickery. Later in the same year he builds Edinample Castle.
1591 ~ Barcaldine Castle is built by Duncan.
1593 ~ Duncan becomes a member of Parliament, but within the same year also suffers the death of his wife Janet.
1603 ~ With Duncan's influence, King James VI issues an edict proclaiming the name MacGregor to be ‘abolished’. This comes as a direct result of years of the Clan Gregor having been restricted in their lands to Glenstrae by the Campbells, and subsequent inter-clan battles and killings. Clan MacGregor would now be persecuted by law, and anyone bearing this name and refusing to renounce it would be put to death.
1609 ~ Finlarig Castle is the seventh and final castle built by Duncan 'of the castles'. This castle becomes his family's home.
1610 ~ Duncan marries his second wife Elizabeth Sinclair and later have five children.
1617 ~ Duncan is appointed Keeper of the Forest of Mamlorn,
1625 ~ The tile of 1st Baronet Campbell is awarded to Duncan. His lands now extend over 100 miles covering 438,696 acres, much of it taken by ruthless means. This even includes the murder of Campbell of Cawdor in an attempt to take full control of Clan Campbell.
1631 ~ Duncan dies and is buried in his last castle of Finlarig, in the Chapel Mausoleum.
1646 ~ The castle of Loch Dochart is destroyed by fire by the McNab's. Their chief, ‘Smooth John’ McNab, has sided with King Charles I, while the Campbells join forces with the Covenanters.
1692 ~ John Campbell, 11th Laird of Glenorchy, is implicated in the massacre of the MacDonald's of Glencoe, and is described as being “cunning as a fox, wise as a serpent, and supple as an eel… who knew neither honour nor religion but where they were mixed with interest.”
Loch Dochart, Crianlarich
Loch Dochart Castle is a very ruined sixteenth-century tower house. What it lacks in stonework it more than makes up in the fabulous location, set on a little island in the loch, partially hidden by trees, while at its feet the wind stirs the rushes that grow in the shallow water.
The castle is set in a beautiful location within easy reach from the road, where there are places to park near a footpath that follows the loch.