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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018752

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


This castle has one of the most impressive locations of all those in the west, visible from and offering extensive panoramas over Mull and Morvern, although it has been stressed that the castle lacks a good anchorage nearby; it stands on an isolated rock stack and, like other 13th century castles of enclosure, it owes its plan to the shape of its natural foundation. The simple multi-angular curtain wall, up to 3m thick at the base and standing to a height of 14m, is still remarkably intact, but there are now no traces of the internal buildings of the original construction; the ranges on the north, west and south-east walls are of 17th and 18th century date. There are thus few 13th century architectural details, but it is worth looking out for the lancet windows in the north curtain wall and the original battlements, parts of which were incorporated within a late 16th century rebuilding, and the pit-prison set within the west wall. The main entrance was in the north-west angle, and access to it must have been made possible by the provision of a wooden drawbridge spanning the deep rock-cut ditch. The postern entrance or sea-gate in the south wall is now considered to be a late 16th century feature, rather than being part of the original construction.

The castle had an eventful history suffering many attacks and a famous siege in 1644, and it says much for the skills of the original builders that so much of the fabric remains today.

Castle Tioram at the head of Loch Moidart (NM 662724) has a rather similar plan to that of Mingary and rises from a steep sea-girt rock. A tower-house, built in the south-west angle of the original castle of enclosure, has impressive angle turrets. Intending visitors should, however, beware of the advancing tide.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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