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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018754

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1018754

The magnificent castle of Skipness has a sequence of construction from the first half of the 13th century until it was abandoned at the end of the 17th century. It was first mentioned in 1261 when it was held by Dugald, son of Sween, presumably on behalf of the MacDonald chiefs; it remained in MacDonald hands until 1493 with the final forfeiture of John, Lord of the Isles, and subsequently was granted to the 2nd Earl of Argyll. The two earliest parts of the castle, a hall-house and separate chapel, were incorporated within the curtain wall of a castle of enceinte in the late 13th or early 14th century, the hall-house at the north-west corner and the chapel forming part of the inner wall on the south. The walls of the great courtyard castle survive almost to their original height with a complex gatehouse on the south wall which has a portcullis chamber above iti on the west wall there is a projecting latrine tower. The building of the three upper floors at the north-east corner of the castle are of rather later date probably at the beginning of the 16th century.

The chapel, dedicated to St Brendan, is situated 320m south-east of the castlei it dates from the same periodearly 14th century, at which time an earlier chapel was incorporated within the castle itself and its ecclesiastical use forgotten. The new chapel is a long building with the nave at the west end and the chancel to the easti the side-walls and gables survive almost intact The window- and door-mouldings are almost complete and, though plain or with simple decoration are described as of Anglo-Scottish First Pointed style.

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

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