Monday, February 04, 2008

Castle Lachlan

I was by Loch Fyne this weekend, a place which prompts thoughts of oysters, (the world's best, they say) and of Campbells (for many years Scotland's most influential clan) . Inveraray Castle, seat of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell, dominated this area before there was even a road from the rest of Scotland. And the clan, which steadfastly opposed the Jacobites, was similarly dominant throughout Argyll.

It was therefore bold, to say the least, of Clan MacLachlan a small clan with lands on the opposite side of the loch, to support the Jacobite Risings in 1689, 1715 and 1745. The seventeenth chief led his clan at the Battle of Culloden and was shot off his horse by a canon ball. It is said that the news of the battle was brought to Strathlachlan by the dead chief's riderless horse.

As punishment for joining the rising, Castle Lachlan, surrounded on three sides by the sea, was bombarded by the Royal Navy. It is now an evocative, and puzzling, ruin - an old 15th century keep to which two significant towers have been added and an internal courtyard formed. Windows have become doors and latrines perhaps turned into chimneys. And for those not intrigued by architectural history, the views of Loch Fyne are stunning. Well worth a visit.

Close by is Kilmorie Chapel where
the MacLachlan chiefs are buried.
The gravestone of Marjory MacLachlan, the 24th chief, is shown in this picture.

No comments: