Smerby Castle

Smerby Castle, Isla Muller, Kintyre, Argyll and Bute

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North-East of Campbeltown




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Smerby Castle is a ruined tower now reduced to its foundations, constructed of rubble masonry with walls almost 8 feet thick. The low-turf grown mound that partly encloses the tower represents the remains of a rampart-wall.

This fabulous location can be accessed from a nearby war memorial cemetery, from which there is a gate that takes you down to the beach for a walk along a stunning coastline towards the castle.

~ History ~

1580's ~ Ranald MacDonald is granted Smerby Castle from his father James MacDonald, 6th of Dunyvaig. As a youngster he had been held hostage by Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean, as assurance for Clan MacDonald's behaviour towards the MacLean's.

1597 ~ Sir James Donald, son of Angus MacDonald, 8th of Dunyvaig Castle, is sent to seek the submission of his father to King James V of Scotland.  Following arguments he imprisons his father in chains at Smerby Castle, after burning down his house of Askomull in Kintyre, from which his father suffers severe burns.

1614 ~ Ranald holds the fort on Loch Gorm, Islay, entering into a bond to surrender it to Sir John Campbell of Cawdor, which is carried out the following year.

1616 ~ Ranald MacDonald dies and is buried in Saddell Abbey in Kintyre.