Dunoon Castle is a ruined castle located at Dunoon on the Cowal
peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The castle sat upon a
cone-shaped hill of about 80 feet high, a volcanic plug.
The castle is first recorded in the thirteenth century. It may
have been constructed in the context of the Stewarts increasing
authority in Cowal. In 1333 Dunoon Castle was besieged and
taken by Edward Balliol, who surrendered it to Edward III of
England. An insurrection ensued, driving Baliol out of Scotland.
Robert the Steward, later King Robert II of Scotland, arrived in
Cowal and, with the help of Colin Campbell of Lochow, retook the
By the 15th century it was a royal castle with the Campbells as
In 1544 Dunoon Castle was besieged by Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl
of Lennox. Having eighteen ships and 800 soldiers provided by
Henry VIII of England, Lennox succeeded in taking the Castles of
Dunoon and Rothesay. Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll, was
driven out, sustaining great loss.
In 1563, Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at the castle while
visiting her half-sister, Jean Stewart, Countess of Argyll, and
granted several charters during her visit.
In 1646 occurred the Dunoon Massacre in which the Campbells
slaughtered men, women, children, and infants of Clan Lamont.
After the restoration of the episcopacy under Charles II, Dunoon
became the residence of the bishops of Argyll for a time. The
castle was destroyed during the Earl of Argyll's rebellion
against James VII and II in 1685.
Very little remains of the castle's structure today.