Craignish Castle is
located on the Craignish peninsula in Argyll, western Scotland.
The present castle includes a 16th-century tower, the seat of
the Campbell family of Craignish and Jura. In the 19th century
it was sold to the Trench-Gascoigne family of Parlington Hall,
Yorkshire, who built a large extension to the tower. In the
later 20th century the house was restored, and parts of the
19th-century extension were demolished.
The Campbells of
Craignish claim descent from Dugald Maul Campbell, first Laird
of Craignish (1156–1190), who was the second son of Sir
Archibald Gillespic Campbell, ancestor of the Dukes of Argyll.
The seventh laird left only one daughter, Christine Campbell (b.
1323). Her weakness and imprudence caused the majority of the
estate to be resigned to the Knight of Lochow, who took
advantage of her. She was left with only a small portion of the
upper part of Craignish under his superiority. The nearest male
representative - Ronald Campbell - fought hard to win back his
heritage, and the then Chief of Clan Campbell was obliged to
allow him possession of a considerable portion of the estate,
but retaining the superiority, and inserting a condition in the
grant that if there was ever no male heir in the direct line the
lands were to revert automatically to the Argyll family.
The present castle was
built in the 16th century as a tower house, and measures 42 by
33 ft. It is said to have withstood a siege of six weeks by
Ranald MacCallum was
made hereditary keeper of Craignish Castle in 1510. In 1544 the
direct line ended, and the rightful heir, a collateral relative
by the name of Charles Campbell of Corranmore in Craignish had
the misfortune to kill Gillies of Glenmore in a brawl. This
compelled him to flee to Perthshire where he settled at
Lochtayside under the protection of the Breadalbane family. This
unfortunate event therefore prevented Charles from claiming the
estate, and so it fell into the hands of the Earls (later Dukes)
of Argyll. Charles' descendants at Killin, Perthshire were later
recognized by the Lord Lyon as Chieftains of the Clan Tearlach
branch of Clan Campbell and from them descended the Campbells of
Inverneill. A grandson of Duncan Campbell, 8th of Inverneill, in
the 1980s owned one of the apartments at Craignish Castle.
The title 'Baron of
Craignish' was created for Edmund Kempt Campbell by the Duke of
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1848, and used by his descendants in
Britain, though this was after the sale of Craignish.
In the 19th-century Craignish
Castle was purchased by Frederick Trench-Gascoigne and his wife
Isabella, heiress of the Gascoigne family of Parlington Hall.
Trench-Gascoigne owned 5,591 acres (2,263 ha) in Argyll in the
1880s. In 1837 the tower house was extended by the architect
David Bryce, working to designs by William Burn. In 1941 the
house was requisitioned for use as a home for children evacuated
from Glasgow. In the later 20th century it was restored and
divided into privately-owned apartments.