Our next trip was to head over towards Oban and on the way we stopped off at the Castle Stalker View Point to take some photos. Castle Stalker is privately owned but you can head over if you book one of their boat trips. The history of the castle is pretty all over the place. Lots of death, lots of taking it off one clan and then another taking it back. When I was reading up about its history, all I could think of was Game of Thrones. It's seen a lot of drama. If you fancy having a read yourself, head over to the Castle Stalker website to get a bit of background info.
We then headed over towards Oban to Dunstaffnage Castle. The castle sits on a rocky outcrop with views across Loch Etive. It's one of the oldest castles in Scotland and was built before 1240 by Duncan MacDougall. He was the son of Dubhgall, the Lord of Lorn who's father was the famous warlord Somerled who called himself 'The King of the Isles'. Somerled had mixed Gaelic and Norse parentage.
Once you climb up the steep worn steps into the castle interior, you are met with a ruin but at the same time are overawed at the length of time it's continued to stand through centuries of battle, weather and fire. This wall really made me want to draw it. The detail in the stonework is amazing.
I loved this ornate fireplace which would have heated the first floor of the 'new house'. This house was built for Aeneas Campbell, the 11th Captain and his lady, Lillias Campbell, in 1725. With the detail still sitting there now it's amazing to think what it must have looked like at the time.
From when I was a wee girl, I've always loved to stand in castles like these and try to really imagine the people that would have walked through these rooms. You can see from the walls that there were different levels to the castle. The castle once housed a great hall which was the main part of the original castle. This was thought to have been linked with the north west range where the lord's accommodation was. He could easily wander out of his private chambers right into the great hall to deal with the business of the day. There would have been great feasts and entertainment within these walls, as well as tenants coming to pay their rents and also criminals standing trial.
A seal matrix which was made from lead in around the 13th or 14th century was found on the beach near the castle and by the inscription, it was thought to have been used by the Lord of the Isles within these walls.
We were able to walk along the restored wall-walk which existed around the top of the castle walls from when it was built. This was perfect for defending the castle on its more vulnerable side. I have to say, my knees were feeling a bit wobbly up here. The view from the top was amazing though but I saw no advancing armies, just my dad and the dog waiting patiently below.
My holiday posts continue tomorrow but if you missed out on the previous parts you can fine part one here and part two here.