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Updated 08/21/2019


Dunoon Castle

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 castle.

By the 15th century it was a royal castle with the Campbells as hereditary keepers.

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.