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An Impressive Tower House – Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle is situated on a large rock jutting out across a mystical loch. It is certainly a very impressive tower house with an old and picturesque stature. It has been long held by the Campbells and is situated near the village of Lochgoilhead in Argyll, western Scotland. It is around 66 by 38 feet (20 by 12 m), and up to 64 feet (20 m) high with walls that are seven feet thick.

Carrick castle with boats harboured beside it
Carrick Castle, 1905. Source: PICRYL.

The history of Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle is a 14th or 15th-century tower house, however, there is said to have possibly been a stronghold there from around the 13th century, possibly earlier. The arched windows and small courtyard are rather elegant and occupy a higher part of the rock the castle stands on. However, very little remains within the walls of the castle. While there was formerly his ditch there, it no longer remains.

The castle does have a very limited history, but what is known is very interesting. Let’s take a deeper look into this picturesque castle, shall we?

The early history

While Carrick Castle is heavily documented in the 14th or 15th century, it is said that an earlier castle may have been here. The earlier castle was likely used as a hunting seat of the king of Scots. It was originally a Lamont stronghold, and Robert the Bruce recovered the castle from back from the English in the year 1307. Then, the castle passed onto the Campbell Earls of Argyll in the year 1368.

Argyll’s rebellion

In 1685, during Argyll’s Rising aka Argyll’s rebellion, Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, attempted to overthrow King James VII. At the same time, captain Thomas Hamilton of HMS Kingfisher reported the castle had been burnt and the walls significantly reduced which rendered it pretty much useless to the Campbell forces. The lands were also pillaged after the tower was viciously bombarded by a government frigate.

The castle was then intermittently occupied until it was sold to the Murrays, the Earls of Dunmore.

The current day

The history of Carrick Castle is certainly patchy, and there will always be so much that we don’t know. Since being occupied by Alex Fleming, the new owner, it was been partially restored as a dwelling. During its partial restoration, a large pit prison was also discovered. The keep was also ruined for a long while, but now it is undergoing restoration. In the next few years, it is thought that the castle’s restoration will continue.

It is a roofless ruin, but still very impressive with two floors above the central hall.

You may enjoy reading about other Scottish Castles such as Drumlanrig Castle.

File:Carrick Castle.jpg
A restoration is ongoing at Carrick Castle. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Carrick Castle Timeline

  • 13th century-A stronghold is built on the site
  • 1368-The castle passes onto the Campbell Earls of Argyll
  • 1563-Mary Queen of Scots visits the castle
  • 1685- The castle is burnt, and the walls significantly reduced which renders it pretty much useless to the Campbell forces

Carrick Castle facts

  • The castle is roughly 66 by 38 feet and up to 64 feet high
  • The walls are 7 feet thick
  • There was a stronghold on the site from the 13th century, possibly earlier
  • The castle was pillaged, burned, and completely destroyed by fire in 1685
  • There is a small chimney, for whatever reason, built into the window recess

Books on Carrick Castle

  • The Fall of Castle Carrick by J Edward Neill (2019)

Who owns Carrick Castle?

The beautiful Carrick Castle is now officially owned by Alex Fleming who has undertaken its entire restoration. It will always remain a roofless ruin but still, the ruins are impressive. It is thought that restorations will continue there for the foreseeable future.

Tourism

The castle is situated in one of the most scenic locations you can find. It is roughly 15 minutes from Carrick Castle lodge and accommodation where you can stay if you are planning your trip. It is also the ideal venue to host family events corporate events, stylish reunions, luxury weddings, or even a relaxing spa-themed country break.

The lodge is situated on the Carrick Castle Estate and is quite a popular destination. It extends over a huge 8,000 acres of the rugged mountains of Argyll and sleeps up to 14 guests. You can even hire a private chef for your stay!

Though you can’t get married at the castle, you can enjoy Carrick Castle weddings at the lodge/estate. There are many events held on the actual castle grounds throughout the year and there is no better way to acknowledge the view than to attend them. To get to the castle, be prepared to go by boat or walk.

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