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Clan Seats of Scotland – Innis Chonnel Castle – Clan Campbell

Innis Chonnel Castle, Loch Awe – Clan Campbell

innis chonnell

Before the construction of the more well-known Inveraray Castle, the home of Clan Campbell would be Innis Chonnel, a rocky island in the middle of Loch Awe.

Becoming their stronghold by the year 1308, the castle would be passed to the family by the MacDougalls – the original owners and likely builders of the structure. This transfer of power would occur after the MacDougalls opposed the rule of the new king,  Robert the Bruce, holding the island against him in 1308. Eventually, the MacDougalls would be defeated, with the castle and the Lordship of Loch Awe given to the Campbells, as the free barony was confirmed to Sir Colin Campbell in 1315.

The Campbells would then use the castle as their base for over a century, refusing to move until the time of Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll, in the late 15th century. The Duke would make Inveraray his primary residence, constructing a new clan seat for one of the largest clans in the country. Meanwhile, the condition of Innis Chonnel would start to deteriorate, as it was used by the Campbells as a place of confinement for political and criminal prisoners.

Sadly, the castle would continue to deteriorate over the subsequent years, eventually becoming overgrown and unrecognisable from its original state, it remains under the ownership of the Campbells of Argyll and is sadly not open to the public because of its poor condition, however, anyone looking for a closer look is welcome to hire a kayak and explore the surrounding waters on their own.