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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Scotland - Skipness Castle

Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Skipness Castle is near the village of Skipness on the east side of the Kintyre Peninsula in western Scotland. The main structure of the castle was built in the early 13th century by the Clan MacSween. The castle was built in a flat area of grazing land inland from the shore. The first stage of Skipness Castle was a Hallhouse and Chapel. The Chapel was a long rectangular building which ran the full length of the courtyard. In the early 14th century a curtain wall was built to enclose the space between the original Chapel and the Hallhouse, creating the present courtyard. The southeast and northeast towers were built within the new wall. A new entrance was built in the south wall with a Gatehouse tower and portcullis. The mechanism was operated from a vaulted chamber over the entrance archway and reached by an alcove off the new Great Hall which was built over the original Chapel at the same period. In the early 16th century, the northeast tower was extended to form a Tower house of five floors. The Tower was reconstructed again to form the parapet walk with circular open corner turrets which survive today. The castle was abandoned in the 17th century. The castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland.

In 1262 the castle passed to the Menteith family, and at some later date passed into the possession of the Lords of the Isles. After the forfeiture of John, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross, in 1476, the castle reverted to the Crown. In time the administration of the royal lands of Kintyre and the castle was put into the hands of the Earl of Argyll (of the Campbell family). The castle remained in the hands of the Campbells of Skipness until 1867 when faced with financial hardship they were forced to sell..

Other Castles in the Area
  Airds Castle, Argyll And Bute
  Brodick Castle, Ayrshire
  Castle Sween, Argyll and Bute
  Kames Castle, Argyll and Bute
  Lochnaw Castle, Dumfries and Galloway
  Lochranza Castle, Ayrshire
  Rothesay Castle, Argyll and Bute
  Saddell Castle, Argyll and Bute
  Stonefield Castle, Argyll and Bute
  Tarbert Castle, Argyll and Bute
  Torrisdale Castle, Argyll and Bute

Torrisdale Castle
Skipness Castle

Photograph by Robert Emperley. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Torrisdale Castle
Skipness Castle

Photograph by einalem. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

 Skipness Castle map