Isle of Albion
Photographed: Friday 10th October 2014
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Lochranza Castle dates back to the 13th Century, when it was originally built as a hall-house by the MacSweens. It was constructed to a two-storey rectangular design, with storage on the ground floor and accommodation above.

In 1306AD, Robert the Bruce is said to have landed at Lochranza upon his return from Ireland to claim the Scottish throne. In 1371AD, Lochranza was in use by his grandson as a hunting lodge.

During the 1490s, James IV used the castle as a base from which to attack the Lords of the Isles. During the 1500s, the building was transformed into the surviving tower house design. Lochranza saw further use as a garrison in the 1650s when Cromwell's troops used it as a base.

By 1705AD, the castle had passed into the hands of the Hamilton family, who eventually sold it on to the Blackwood-Davidson family. During the 18th Century, it finally fell into decay and was abandoned.

Although there's not much to see when visiting the ruin of Lochranza, it does benefit from a spectacular setting jutting out on a strip of land into an inlet on the north side of the Isle of Arran. If you've made the effort to get to the island, the castle is worth a visit for its evocative location if nothing else.