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Fincharn Castle

Castle (Medieval), Hall House (Medieval)

Site Name Fincharn Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Hall House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Finchurn Castle; Fionchairn Castle; Finchairn

Canmore ID 22777

Site Number NM80SE 2

NGR NM 89840 04367

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmichael Glassary
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM80SE 2 89840 04367

(NM 89840 04367) Fincharn Castle (NR) (remains of).

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

The very ruinous remains of this medieval hall-house stand on a rocky promontory near the south end of Loch Awe and on its eastern shore. It is two-storied, oriented NW-SE, the lower storey being an unvaulted basement having an entrance through the NW gable, with a bar hole in the left as one enters from the outside. The basement measures 39' by 17' 6" within walls 4' 6" thick generally, but 7' in the NW gable. Small slit windows with square heads and wide, internal splays occur at ground and first floor levels at the NW end, whilst other window openings, but with round, arched heads are traceable at first floor level. Externally the corners have been rounded and the masonry throughout is of early West Highland type.

The Lordship of Glassary, of which this is the manor place was erected in 1240, but the present ruin must represent a later castle. It is said to have belonged to the MacMartins or to the MacIains.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; H Millar and J Kirkhope 1964.

As described. The castle wall survives to a height of about 5 metres. Surveyed at 1:10 000 scale.

Visited by OS (W D J) 2 March 1970.


External Reference (20 July 1971)

Of uncertain date possibly c.1300 Mediaeval Keep. Oblong. Rubble,

extensively dilapidated; roofless.

Groome's Gazetteer "C & D" Arch. IV p 392 MacPhail "Highland - Papers".

Ruin. On a rocky peninsula. Tradition relates that this was once the stronghold of a chief called MacMhic Iain. Recently acquired by the Earl of Dundee whose forbear had forfeited it in 1871.

Information from Historic Scotland, 20 July 1971

Standing Building Recording (5 April 2014 - 30 September 2014)

NM 89840 04367 A pilot for the Scottish Medieval Castles and Chapels C14 Project began with a programme of building and environment survey, and materials sampling, analysis and radiocarbon dating at the castle of Fincharn and its surrounding landscape.

Archive: Historic Scotland and RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Mark Thacker - University of Edinburgh

(Source: DES)


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