The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Castle Stalker

Argyll & Dunbartonshire: About 6 miles north of Benderloch, on minor road and boat west of A828 at Portnacroish, on a small island at mouth of Loch Laich, at Castle Stalker.

 

Private   NM 921473   OS: 49   PA38 4BA

 

OPEN: Open for some days in the summer.
Web: www.castlestalker.com

 

Castle Stalker View: Cafe and giftshop with views of the castle (!).

Web: www.castlestalkerview.co.uk

 

Castle Stalker is a restored scenic old tower house on an island in a beautiful spot in Appin north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, long a property of the Stewarts of Appin. Castle Stalker (© Martin Coventry)

Dramatically sited on a small island at the mouth of Loch Laich, Castle Stalker (Stalcaire in Gaelic, meaning ‘hunter’ or ‘falconer’) is a tall, massive and simple tower, rectangular in plan, of four storeys and a garret. A flush parapet was remodelled in the 16th century, and a gabled caphouse crowns the stair. The thick walls are pierced by shot-holes.

Castle Stalker is a restored scenic old tower house on an island in a beautiful spot in Appin north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, long a property of the Stewarts of Appin. Castle Stalker (© Martin Coventry)

There are two entrances. The first, at ground level, is defended by a machicolation at parapet level and leads to the vaulted basement, which has a prison in one corner. A small mural stairway climbs to the first-floor hall. The main entrance, reached by an external stone stair, is at first-floor level and also protected by a machicolation. Private chambers occupied the storeys above the hall. A small courtyard has a landing place.
  ‘C. Stalky’ is marked on Pont’s map of Loch Linnhe, and is depicted as a large tower on an island, and then on Blaeu’s map of Lorn as ‘Castel Yl na Stalkyr’.

Castle Stalker is a restored scenic old tower house on an island in a beautiful spot in Appin north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, long a property of the Stewarts of Appin. Castle Stalker: before restoration (old postcard)

There was probably an earlier castle on the site, held by the MacDougalls. The present castle was built by Duncan Stewart of Appin, who was made Chamberlain of the Isles for his part in helping James IV destroy the MacDonald Lord of the Isles. The castle is believed to have been used by James IV as a hunting lodge. Duncan was murdered by the MacLeans at Duart Castle in 1512. His son, Donald, led his clan at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547.

Castle Stalker is a restored scenic old tower house on an island in a beautiful spot in Appin north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, long a property of the Stewarts of Appin. Castle Stalker by Laura Ferguson (© Martin Coventry)

The assassination of John Campbell of Cawdor in 1592 started a feud between the family and the Campbells. The Stewarts of Appin fought at the Battle of Inverlochy, under the Marquis of Montrose, in 1645 against the Campbells. In 1620 the castle had been acquired by the Campbells of Airds in a drunken wager with Duncan, 7th Chief, but the Stewarts retrieved it after a long siege in 1685. A Stewart garrison surrendered to William and Mary’s forces in 1690. In 1715 the clan fought for the Jacobites at Sheriffmuir during the Jacobite Rising. Dugald, 9th Chief, did not support the 1745 Rising, but the clan were led by Stewart of Ardshiel. The chief sold the lands in 1765, and the castle was abandoned about 1800. It was roofless in 1831, but restored from ruin, after being bought by Charles Stewart of Achara, in the 1960s.

Castle Stalker is a restored scenic old tower house on an island in a beautiful spot in Appin north of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, long a property of the Stewarts of Appin. Castle Stalker (MacGibbon and Ross)

Part of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed near the castle (Castle Aaaaaargh).

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