Three miles outside of Oban, Scotland lies the Dunstaffnage Castle and chapel. It is a partially ruined castle that sits on a conglomerate rock at the entrance to Loch Etive surrounded on three sides by the sea. It is one of Scotland’s oldest stone castles dating back to the 13th century. And you can go inside of it too so let’s go!
The castle and nearby chapel were built by a Duncan MacDougall some 800 years ago; the castle to protect his family back when places like this were needed and the chapel for private family worship. It was a highly prized and strategic fortress in it’s time.
I had already run up the narrow well worn steps to get inside of the castle when DH took the photo below showing the way inside.
Once in I could see just how much of a fortress it was built to be what with those 11.5 foot thick walls. I had a great time standing at the top looking over the walls and shouting “Get the boiling oil ready, lads!” I don’t think they ever said that but they did use guns.
This is the gatehouse which was built by the Campbells after they were given the castle in 1470. The captain of Dunstaffnage lived there. “Traditionally, an officer called the Hereditary Captain of Dunstaffnage is responsible for the castle and its defense. The office still exists, and to retain the title (now rather a sinecure without military significance), the incumbent is required to spend three nights a year in the castle. No other responsibilities or privileges now attach to the post.” wikipedia
Plus, the castle has a ghost known as the Ell-Maid of Dunstaffnage – a gruagach or household spirit – whose appearance is associated with events in the lives of the hereditary keepers. Didn’t hear or see the wee rascal… darn!
The chapel, one of the finest of its time as the plaque inside of it states, has some amazing detailed stonework as you can see; very narrow windows though.
It was such a thrill to experience this amazing history and be able to say that I was inside of a medieval castle.