Moy Castle, Mull – Clan MacLaine of Lochbuie
Owned by the MacLaines, an unruly branch of the larger MacLean Clan, Moy Castle is one of the Isle of Mull’s most iconic sites.
Perhaps overshadowed on the island by the home of their larger cousins, Duart Castle, it is nonetheless a spectacular part of the local landscape and a worthwhile place to visit for anyone in the area.
Acquired in the mid 14th century from the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, the castle’s main tower would be built in 1450 by Hector MacLaine, brother of Lachlan Lubanach MacLean of Duart. It would be fought over by the MacLeans and the MacLaines in the subsequent years, with MacLean of Duart imprisoning Iain ‘The Toothless’ MacLaine to prevent him from producing an heir to pass the property to. Unfortunately for MacLean, Iain would still manage to find a companion to make an heir and although he was later murdered, she would survive and produce a son, Murdoch the Stunted, who eventually regained control of the castle.
A later Murdoch MacLaine would go on support the Marquis of Montrose in the 1640s but would forfeit his lands in the aftermath of the fighting as he was convicted of besieging and blocking his own castle.
Also falling under the control of the Campbells, the castle would always return to the MacLaines until its abandonment in 1752. After this date, any visitors to the area of Lochbuie would stay in the nearby Lochbuie House, a large Georgian mansion built to replace the ageing castle.
The MacLaines would eventually sell the property in the 20th century and, although it has suffered many years of neglect, it is now being restored and consolidated under the watchful eye of the Mull Historical and Archaeological Society.