Kilchurn Castle was constructed in 1450AD by Sir Colin Campbell, and was originally designed as a five-story tower house with courtyard and outer wall. It was built on a rocky island at the tip of Loch Awe, which at that time was only connected to the shore by a narrow causeway. The MacGregors of Glenstrae were installed as custodians, and remained in residence until the clans fell out violently in the mid 17th Century.
In 1654AD a Royalist force briefly laid siege to Kilchurn Castlee for two days, until relief arived in the form of Cromwellian troops.
From 1685AD, Kilchurn Castle saw turbulent times. The Earl of Argyll rebelled against James VII and sent his men to lay siege. They were repelled, and in 1693AD Sir John Campbell promoted the castle's strategic position as a base from which government troops could control the west Highlands. To this end, he further fortified the castle and installed a barrack block with the intention of selling it to the crown as a pre-made garrison. His plan came to nothing however, as the crown chose to expand Fort William as a base of operations. However, the castle did end up being put to use as a garrison during the Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745AD.
After 1740AD, the Campbells abandoned Kilchurn in favour of their residence in Taymouth, unsucsessfully attempting to sell the castle to the crown. In 1760AD it was struck by lightning and badly damaged by fire. From this point, the castle fell into ruin and did not see futher use.
Today, Kilchurn Castle no longer sits on an island, as the waters of Loch Awe have been lowered. Instead, it occupies a small penninsula at the tip of Loch Awe. The ruins are striking and dramatic, surrounded by fabulous panoramas on all sides. Unfortunately, at the time of visiting, it was impossible to access the interior, so I had to settle for a wander round the outer wall, soaking up the history and taking in the glorious scenery.