HomeEuropeKildonan Castle – A Historic Ruined Tower on the Isle of Arran
Kildonan Castle – A Historic Ruined Tower on the Isle of Arran
Kildonan Castle is a historic castle located in the Scottish Highlands. Kildonan Castle is a 13th-century ruined tower on the Isle of Arran, located on a rocky plateau on the south coast. It was built on the site of an earlier tower and served as the stronghold of the MacDonalds. The castle was protected by cliffs on the east side and a deep ravine on the north, and it was later reinforced with gun loops. The castle’s name comes from St Donan, an Irish monk who lived on the island in the 16th century.
The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it is believed to have been built in the 13th or 14th century. The castle is situated on a hilltop overlooking the River Clyde, and it provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Kildonan Castle has a unique history and was once the home of the Clan MacAlister. The MacAlister clan was one of the most powerful clans in Scotland, and they controlled much of the western Highlands. The castle was also used as a strategic location during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, and it played a crucial role in the conflict between Scotland and England.
When the island was part of the realm of the Scottish kings, including Robert III, the castle was used as a hunting lodge by them before it became a royal residence. It was the Earls of Arran who acquired the castle in 1544; however, just over a decade later, in 1558, the Tower was sacked and burned by the Earl of Sussex, who possessed it at the time. The ruins of the building can still be found at Kildonan Beach where they overlook the remnants of the building.
Over the centuries, the castle underwent several renovations and additions. In the 17th century, a new tower was added to the castle, and in the 18th century, the castle was remodeled in the Georgian style. In the 19th century, the castle was further expanded and improved, and it became a popular destination for tourists and visitors.
Despite its rich history, Kildonan Castle has faced many challenges over the years. In the 20th century, the castle fell into disrepair, and it was eventually abandoned. In the 1990s, a restoration project was launched to restore the castle to its former glory, and today, it is open to visitors who want to experience the beauty and history of the castle.
Kildonan Castle is now a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the castle’s history and architecture. The castle is open to the public, and guided tours are available. Visitors can explore the castle’s interior, including the great hall, the dining room, and the bedrooms, and they can also visit the castle’s battlements and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to its historical significance, Kildonan Castle is also known for its stunning natural beauty. The castle is surrounded by lush green forests and rolling hills, and it is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The area around the castle is home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer, otters, and a variety of bird species, and it is a popular spot for birdwatching.
Overall, Kildonan Castle is a unique and fascinating piece of Scotland’s history, and it is well worth a visit for anyone who is interested in history, architecture, or nature. Whether you are a local resident or a tourist visiting Scotland, Kildonan Castle is a must-see attraction that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Related Reading – The Ancient Skipness Castle of Scotland