This afternoon, I am posting information on one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions, namely Inverarary Castle in Argyll on the West of Scotland.

This Castle is inextricably linked with Clan Campbell whose chief resides at the Castle to this day.

The Campbells moved to the present site on Loch Fyne from Innischonnell Castle (a ruin) during the late 15th century.

The 1st Earl of Argyll built a conventional (by the standards of the day) fortified Tower House but two centuries later, after creation of the Dukedom, this building was deemed inappropriate. The 2nd Duke of Argyll thus embarked on construction of a grand mansion to reflect his family’s standing and wealth.

Working from an original idea by Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect Roger Morris was commissioned to design the building under the guidance of Duke Archibald. Morris engaged the services of the famous Scots architect, William Adam and his two sons John and Robert. William Adam was contractor and overseer but died in 1748 and then, a few months later, Morris also passed away. These developments left the two Adam brothers to complete the work with John the principal influence. The interiors were mainly the work of Robert Mylne (1734-1811).

The foundation stone was laid in 1746 but completion was not achieved until 1789. This slow programme was no doubt influenced by the need to bring in materials by sea as roads were very poor in the 18th century. Also, the town of Inveraray had to be rebuilt at this time about one mile away in order to make space for the new Castle. This project placed extra claims on materials, resources and finance.

The Castle suffered major fire damage in 1877 and 1975 but in both cases restoration was carried out with the Castle now in good condition. The Castle is home to Torquhil, the 13th Duke of Argyll and MacCallein Mor (Clan Chief) and his family.

Inside, the Castle offers a wealth of art, antiques, rich decoration , furniture and an armoury. The Castle is open to visitors who can admire the highly decorated State Dining Room, Tapestry Drawing Room, China Turret, Armoury Hall, Saloon, Gallery, Clan Campbell Room and Old Kitchen. There are also impressive gardens dating from the 1870s.

Bridge with Loch Fyne in distance

The Castle is open April-October and has tea room facilities. Popular with visitors and a convenient stop on the route from Glasgow to Oban, Fort William and Inverness. I invariably include to a visit to the castle during visits to the town of Inveraray.

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