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Magnificent Dunstaffnage Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle, Argyll and Bute. Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Dunstaffnage is an imposing castle built on an outcrop of rock on a peninsula at the entrance to Loch Etive in Western Scotland near Oban.

The name comes from the Gaelic ‘Dun’ meaning fort or castle and the Norse ‘stafr-nis’ meaning headland of the staff - basically; fort on the headland!

An early Gaelic fort and settlement was believed to be situated here in the 7th century and in 1220AD the powerful MacDougall Clan, Lords of Lorn, built this imposing stone castle to control the seaways around the West coast, which were the motorways of ancient Scotland.

The MacDougall Clan supported King John Balliol and their relation John Comyn (see my recent post on Old Inverlochy!!) as the rightful King of Scotland rather than Robert the Bruce, and in 1306AD the MacDougall Clan almost killed King Robert the Bruce close to Tyndrum (very close to the @the_green_welly_stop - which everyone knows!!) during an ambush. The ambush also features in the movie The Outlaw King

Bruce narrowly escaped with his life but he never forgot and in 1308 he got his revenge as he routed the MacDougall Clan at the Battle of the Pass of Brander and King Robert captured Dunstaffnage Castle shortly thereafter with it becoming crown property.

The castle passed into the hands of Clan Campbell in 1470AD and during the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 Dunstaffnage became a government garrison to put down Jacobite rebellions.

Flora MacDonald who famously helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape capture after the Battle of Culloden in 1746 was held here as a prisoner before her transfer to the Tower of London to stand trial for treason against the crown! She was later pardoned thanks to public support and fundraising.

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