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Barcaldine Castle

Barcaldine, the ‘Black Castle’ of Benderloch is one of the few medieval castles in Scotland which is still habitable and which appears practically unchanged. Its situation amid some of Scotland’s finest landscape is breathtaking with views to Loch Creran, the mountains of Glencoe and distant peaks of Ardgour. 

The castle was built for defence as a Campbell clan military outpost between 1601 and 1609. It played a major role in the famous Glencoe massacre in 1692. In more peaceful parts of Scotland towards the end of the 16th century, the need for defence was a dwindling consideration in castle and house building. However, not so in Argyll where turbulence and lawlessness raged and men lived in fear and hatred of their neighbours. It was during this period that Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, (Black Duncan), came to power. 

The castle stayed in Campbell hands but by the end of the 19th century it had fallen into disrepair and was sold. Sir Duncan Campbell 10th laird of Barcaldine, 3rd Baronet, purchased the ruin and carried out restorations between 1897 and 1911. It is a fine example of a Lairds dwelling of its period. 

Throughout its 400 year existence, Barcaldine has been a military outpost, a dwelling house, a ruin and now a place of interest where visitors can stay and enjoy a true castle experience. 

The Castle Ghosts 

Donald Campbell was murdered in the Castle grounds and his spirit is said to roam in search of his murderers. For years Donald Campbell had been involved in a bitter dispute with Stewart of Appin which came to a bloody end when Stewart killed Donald with his sword. Stewart knew that when he was found out there would be a swift reprisal from the Campbells and so in order to ensure his safety he sought refuge at the home of Donald’s brother Duncan at Inverewe who had not heard the news of his brothers demise and was obliged to offer his hospitality according to Highland custom. It is said Duncan was haunted by visions of his brother whilst Stewart was under his roof. By the time the news had reached him Stewart had fled. Donald’s ghost roams Barcaldine angry at being cheated out of life and deprived of his brother’s revenge by a Stewart. It is also said that The Blue Lady, a Campbell maiden, plays the piano on windy nights. Barcaldine is beautifully preserved and gives a genuine Castle experience to all its guests. If you stay then don't forget to ask Liz or Ronnie about the dungeon or the small cupboard between the Hall and the sitting room and see if you can find the secret passageways within the Hall!!

You can stay here as part of the 3 Day Castle Tour or one of your own making. 

Perhaps you have an alternative suggestion for your private day tour so please contact us. 

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Created by J Richmond

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