Fincharn Castle – Little Remains

Fincharn Castle is in ruins with a few sections of walls still standing. It stands on a rocky promontory on the very edge of the southwest shore of Loch Awe. The name, Fincharn is derived from the Celtic Fiannacharn, the "Fingalians’ Mound", which is the name given to an unusually large burial cairn located on the nearby Fincharn Farm. The remains of the castle are less than a mile away from the community of Ford.

The remains of a walled courtyard extend to the south. Once a commanding structure, it now has portions of only three high-standing walls, part of what was once a long rectangular tower. The tower house appears to have been two stories in height and was roughly rectangular being approximately twenty five feet by fifty feet. The walls varied from four to seven feet thick. The structure had narrow windows with flagstone sills and heads. The north section of the east wall has two surviving gun loops, one at each level.

It is not certain whether a beam-hole at a higher level marks the position of a third floor or the roof. On the north there appears to be the ruins of a chimney. No entrance has been located, so it is likely that a removable ladder to an upper floor may have been in use.

The ownership and history of Fincharn is hazy and there seem to be conflicting stories. Fincharn Castle is probably from the13th century. The legend is that it was burned down shortly after being built in a quarrel between rival families, and was never really inhabited afterwards.

The MacDougall’s held a castle here in 1308 for the English king Edward I called Glassery. In the 1370s it became the property of the Scrymgeour family and remained so until 1668 the castle passed back into the hands of the MacDougall’s. In 1563, during the time of the Scrymgeour family, Fincharn Castle was known as the “Messuage (or, Manor Place) of Glassary.”

Fincharn Castle was also supposed to be the “Home of the MacMartins”, the name of John of Glassary whose father, Mr. Radulf of Dundee acquired the lands of Gillascop MacGilchrist in the late 13th century.

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