Moidart is steeped in culture, history and tradition. Take time to visit Castle Tioram, the ancient fortress of the MacDonalds, a short drive or walk from Mingarry Lodges. Castle Tioram was built in the 13th Century as a testament to the independent rule of the Rough Bounds by the MacDonald clan, Lords of the Isles. It is situated in a strategic location on a rocky tidal island at the confluence of Loch Moidart and the River Shiel. The Castle had a reputation as an impenetrable fortress , only being taken once by deception. It was set alight in the 18th century on the order of Allan, 14th chief to prevent it falling into the hands of the Government troops. It now stands as a sombre testament to the changing fortunes of the Clanranalds. You can access the rocky promontory at low tide to view the castle externally. Details of the castle’s history can be found on The Moidart History Society website.
Mingary Castle, a medieval castle, is strategically located on a high rocky promontory approximately 2km south east of the village of Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Mingary Castle served as the former stronghold for the MacIans of Ardnamurchan. The main part of the castle dates from the 13th century, with subsequent alterations in the 16th , 17th and 18th centuries. It has been besieged on a number of occasions and variously occupied by James IV, Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, the Clan MacLean of Dunart, Earl of Argyll, Clan Campbell and James Riddell. The Castle was abandoned in the mid 19th century.
Until recently Mingary Castle stood as a sombre testament to warfare and the changing fortunes and prominence of the Highland Clans. It is recently been renovated and restored to its original grandeur by The Mingary Castle Trust. Mingary Castle now serves as a hospitality venue. Good views on Mingary Castle are afforded from the jetty at Kilchoan.
Ardtornish Castle, a 13th century castle, overlooks the Sound of Mull on the Morvern peninsula just south east of Lochaline. The castle served as a stronghold for the Lords of the Isles (chiefs of the Clan Donald) in 14th and 15th centuries. John of Islay (6th chief of Clan Donald) is believed to have died at Ardtornish Castle. The caste has borne witness to the ambition and greed of its inhabitants, as well as political intrigue, alliance and treason. Ardtornish Castle is now in ruins but, nevertheless, is well worth a visit for the amazing views and enjoyable walk over the Ardtornish Estate.
Kinloch Castle, on the Isle of Rum, is an impressive two storey, turreted, red sandstone castle with an arcaded veranda. This lavish castle was built by the wealthy Lancashire industrialist George Bullough in 1897. At the time, the castle boasted ''state of the art’ modern facilities with opulent furnishings and interior design. There is a guided daily tour around the castle in season which provides an interesting insight to a bygone age of extravagance. The castle is well worth a visit, if just to marvel at the indulgence of an age long since vanished. Calmac ferries run a regular service from Mallaig to Isle of Rum and the other Small Isles in season.
Old Inverlochy Castle is on the banks of the River Lochy, just north of Fort William. The castle dates from the 13th century and has been built on the site of an ancient Pictish fortress city. It served as a feudal strong hold . It now remains as an impressive ruin that bears testament to the former power of ancient families, kingly ambition and clan rivalries. The castle is well worth a visit to imbue the atmosphere of this once impressive castle. Interpretation boards on site describe the external structure of the castle and key events in the history of the castle. Historic events associated with the inhabitants of Inverlochy Castle include the murder of John ("The Red") Comyn, Lord of Badenoch in 1306 by Robert the Bruce, and the transfer of ownership to MacDonalds and later to the Earl of Huntly. Old Inverlochy Castle was the site of two major battles in 1431 and 1645. In the 19th century, the ownership of Old Inverlochy Castle was acquired by the Scarlett family who bequeathed its care to Historic Scotland.
You can either drive directly to the site or take a circular walk from the site of the Old Fort in Fort William along the banks of the River Lochy to the castle.
Caisteal Nan Con (The Castle of the Hounds), stands on a rocky promontory on the east shore overlooking the Sound of Mull. Little now remains of this late seventeenth tower house, although the south gable which is relatively intact and to full height. The entrance to the tower house is from west wall from which a ‘bowed stair tower’ gave access to living quarters. The house stands on the site of a pre-historic fort. The house was thought to have been abandoned in the early 18th century. You can explore the building but access is difficult; the tower house and ancient fort are probably best observed from a distance.