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Castles

Carrick Castle -Restoration in Progress

Carrick Castle has a most dramatic position on the west shore of Loch Goil, south of Lochgoilhead in Argyll. The castle was in a state of disrepair but is now being restored. The striking location on a rocky outcrop is worth a visit and if you are equipped to walk and enjoy a bit of exercise you could take a walk till there. A scenic route is through the Argyll Forest Park where there is a sign posted footpath. One can take it from Ardentinny, near the southern entrance to Loch Long, all the way to Carrick Castle.

The castle is believed to have been built in the 12th century. It is likely that the present Carrick Castle is the second structure to occupy this location. The first may have been a hunting lodge for the kings of Scots. The land originally belonged to the Lamonts. However, in 1368 it passed to the Campbell Earls of Argyll.

There is an appendage of a smaller 17th Century structure to the original rectangular tower house was constructed in the 1400’s.It is recorded that Mary, Queen of Scots visited here in 1563. A Campbell stronghold for over three hundred years, it was captured during the Argyll’s rebellion, by Atholl. The victors pillaged and burned it and completely destroyed it by fire in 1685.

The Campbell clan, originally Cambel, was the owner of many castles in the Argyll region. Though Carrick did not remain with them for long, it was the symbol and source of their power in South Argyll. The colors that make up the Campbell tartan are green, black and blue. The shades or tones of the colors may vary from different weavers, but these are the official colors.

The property later was passed to the Earls of Dunmore. Carrick Castle is now owned by Alex Fleming who has undertaken its restoration. It had remained a roofless ruin but still the ruins are impressive, with two floors above the central hall. There is a curiosity – a small chimney, for whatever reason, is built into a window recess.