Loch Awe, Loch Linnhe & Lynn Of Lorn - Scotland

Joined
May 7, 2007
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404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Hi guys

Here are a few recent shots from the west coast of Scotland:

Castle Stalker on Loch Linnhe
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Castle Stalker – in the Gaelic, Stalcaire, meaning Hunter or Falconer – is believed originally to have been the site of a Fortalice (a small fortified building) belonging to the MacDougalls when they were Lords of Lorn, and built around 1320. The MacDougalls lost their title after their defeat by King Bruce at Brander Pass in 1308 but regained it for a period after 1328. In about 1388 the Lordship of Lorn passed to the Stewarts, the lands including Castle Stalker.

It is believed that Castle Stalker, much in its present form, was built by the then Lord of Lorn, Sir John Stewart, who had an illegitimate son in 1446, and it is reasonable to suppose that he built and occupied the Castle about that time. In 1463 Sir John Stewart was keen to legitimise his son by getting married to his Mother, a MacLaren, at Dunstaffnage when he was murdered outside the church by Alan MacCoul, a renegade MacDougall, although he survived long enough to complete the marriage and legitimise his son, Dugald, who became the First Chief of Appin. The Stewarts had their revenge on MacCoul at the Battle of Stalc in 1468 opposite the Castle when the Stewarts and MacLaren together defeated the MacDougalls, and Alan MacCoul was killed by Dugald himself. The site of this Battle is marked by a memorial stone in the Churchyard in Portnacroish.

In 1497 the Stewarts and MacLarens carried out a combined raid against MacDonald of Keppoch as a reprisal for cattle reiving, but Dugald Stewart was killed and succeeded as Chief of Appin by his son Duncan. King James IV of Scotland, born in 1473, was a cousin of the Stewarts of Appin and when he came of age made frequent hunting journeys to the Highlands. It is understood that he stayed quite often at Castle Stalker, using it as a base for hunting and hawking for which he had a passion. It is thought that further improvements were made to the Castle at this time including the possible addition of what is now the top floor and roof, and that the Coat of Arms over the front door may be the Royal Arms of that time.

Duncan Stewart was murdered by the McLeans at Duart Castle in 1512 and succeeded by his younger brother Alan Stewart as the third Chief. In 1513 the Stewarts of Appin supported King James IV at the Battle of Flodden. The Stewart Chief and is five sons were all present at the Battle but all managed to survive what was otherwise a massive defeat in which the King was killed.

In 1520 Sir Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle was fishing off the small island next to Castle Stalker when he was surprised and murdered by a party of Campbells. Tradition has it that the nurse of his baby son, Donald Stewart, hid the baby in the Castle and when the Campbells left the nurse returned, found the baby still alive and took refuge in Morven.

Young Donald became renowned for his strength and was known as "Donald of the Hammers" – in the Gaelic "Donald nan Ord" – as he could wield a blacksmith's hammer in each hand with ease. In 1544 he raised the Stewarts of Appin and went to Dunstaffnage where they killed nine Campbells in revenge for the murder of his Father. Donald nan Ord also led the Stewarts at the Battle of Pinkie on the 10th September 1547. He died in 1607 and is buried on Lismore where his faithful henchman, a Carmichael, also lies buried.

In around 1620 the Castle passed into the hands of the Campbells of Airds as a result of a drunken wager by the 7th Stewart Chief, Duncan, in exchange for an eight-oared wherry.

The Stewarts of Appin, under Stewart if Ardsheal, regained the Castle in 1689 when they came out with King James VII (otherwise James II) against King William but after defeat at the battle of Dunkeld the Castle was again forfeited to the Campbells. The Stewarts under Ardsheal refused to hand it over when it was then besieged by the Campbells for several months until Ardsheal was granted an honourable surrender in 1690.

At the time of the 1745 Rising Castle Stalker was held by the Campbells with a Garrison of about 59 Government troops. Although the Stewarts of Appin were solidly behind Prince Charles, and raised a regiment of 300, the Castle was too strong for them to take and their 2lb cannon-balls merely bounced off the walls. The Castle formed an important link during the rising with ships calling frequently with men and supplies as they sailed between Inverary in the South and Fort William in the North. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746 the Castle was used by the Government forces as a local centre where the Clansmen had to surrender their arms. Six prisoners are recorded as being held in the Prisoners' Hole for about a fortnight before being taken to Edinburgh for trial.

The last Campbell was born in the Castle in 1775 and Campbells continued to reside in it until about 1800 when they built a new house on the mainland at Airds, which still exists today, and the Castle remained merely as a storehouse. In about 1840 the roof either fell in or was perhaps removed to avoid roof-tax and the Castle was abandoned.

In 1908 the Castle was regained from the Campbells by Charles Stewart of Achara who purchased it and carried out some basic preservation work to stem its decay.

In 1947 his successor, Duncan Stewart, who was Governor of Sarawak, was murdered by a Dyak and the Castle devolved on his widow. In 1965 Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward negotiated terms for the purchase of the Castle and spent the next ten years rebuilding and restoring it as it is today. It is now fully habitable. Contractors and builders in the normal sense were not employed in the restoration which was carried out by Lt. Col. Stewart Allward personally with the help of his wife, family and many friends who were willing to spend holidays and long weekends helping with the task. He died suddenly whilst out walking in 5th February 1991 and is survived by his wife Marion and children Sine, Ross, Alasdair, and Morag.

Sunset on Lynn of Lorn
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This is an 8% crop of an 8 shot stitched pano of Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe (Click to see the 8% version)
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The Castle was historically a Campbell stronghold but is likely to have been built on an earlier McGregor of Glenstrae site. The McGregors were the dominant clan in the area until being eclipsed by the Campbells.

The Castle was held by the Campbells for 400 years and became a government stronghold in Jacobean times. The Campbells were always on the right (winning) side. At this time is was extended to include a very substantial barracks and outer walls.

With the pacification of the Highland Clans and the dispersal of the McGregors the Castle outlived its usefulness. Lord Glenorchy became the Duke of Breadalbane as the Campbells power and wealth grew and the family moved to Taymouth Castle in Perthshire (and about 200 rooms!).

At its peak the Castle was a fortress and a very grand home. A day spent at Register House in Edinburgh reveals an extremely advanced society of immense wealth and power.

The family records going back to the time of the Bruce, being lodged here at Register House. They also show that "Glenorchy" wouldn't pay his tailor in Edinburgh.

The Castle was abandoned completely at the end of the 18th Century and then had the misfortune to be burnt out after a "lightning strike" (Most likely a stray McGregor).

The Castle being on an island it did not suffer badly from local "quarrying" but some houses round the Loch "have a suspicious look" to them.

In the 1890s the water level of the Loch was lowered to allow road building and the castle can now be accessed by foot from the main A85. You can park your car safely near the bridge over the River Orchy.

In 1951 the Castle was put into the Guardianship of the State and is maintained and administered by Historic Scotland (a government funded body). The title to the Castle is presently owned by Highland Heritage Limited, a local Group Tour Company.

The fabric of the Castle is in unusually good order and access is by a ½ mile walk on a rough path. The scale of the construction is vast and extremely interesting. Historic Scotland have built access stairs and it is possible to climb to the highest towers from where the views are breathtaking. It is open every day and until 9pm in the summer.

It is also possible to visit the Castle in summer by boat from Loch Awe station. This costs about £5 and includes a trip round the loch and a number of Stone Age Crannogs which came to light when the Loch water level was lowered.

In recent years advances in fishing gear and techniques have resulted in the landing of a British Record Brown Trout of 25lbs and in 2000 a 30lb monster, all within sight of the Castle. In the late 19th Century a 39½lb Brown Trout was recorded but was disregarded as it "couldn't be possible". Ho, ho, ho!

A slightly wider view of Castle Stalker in Appin this time from Loch Laich (which joins Loch Linnhe)

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Thanks for taking the time to look. C&C is always welcomed should you wish. :biggrin:
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
338
Location
Australia
Anthony, Visited Scotland many times, these are great images, well done.

Not keen on the copyright across the middle.
The first is my fav, you just managed to keep the snow from blowing out on the peaks. Excellent
Regards
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
Oregon
Beautiful images... I definately need to get over there sometime. Thanks for sharing.
 
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Thank you guys, comments are very much appreciated. I agree re the copyright and its unfortunate but i host my images on Flickr where they ahve been stolen many times and I have had to resort to this.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
1,503
Location
Stafford, VA
Anthony,

Your images never disappoint, and always bring back fond memories... Especially the one of Kilchurn Castle (I lived fairly close by).
 
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
404
Location
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Kristin/Robert/Chris/David, many thanks for your kind words.

Chris, its a real pain I know, apologies, I did give a reason above. Please believe me it not because I think I'm any great shakes as a photographer but more because of the way in which Flickr allows your images to be used by everybody and anybody. Its a shame as I generally like the Flickr community but I may have to think about moving elsewhere for hosting.

Thanks again guy's.

Kristin - check your inbox ;-)
 
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