The first recorded mention of the Campbell family in written records was in 1263 with the mention of a Gillespie Campbell who was granted lands in east-central Scotland.
It is believed the original seat of the clan was either at Innischonnel Castle on Loch Awe or Caisteal na Nigheann Ruaidhe on Loch Avich and the clan’s lands would soon cover a vast area within Argyll.
After the Campbells supported Robert the Bruce they were rewarded with even more lands forfeited from the Madougal Lords of Lorne who had previously dominated the Campbells. With this role reversal, the Campbells would rise to power in the West Highlands.
One branch of the family – the Earls of Breadalbane – would go on to build Taymouth Castle at the east end of Loch Tay, which still stands to this day. At the peak of their powers, it was said that the Breadalbanes could ride over 100 miles across their family lands from Perthshire to the Atlantic.
These days, while the Campbells still have significant lands across the country, many of the family have moved worldwide. Despite this, the castles of Inveraray, Dunstaffnage and Cawdor remain in family hands. In fact, despite being badly damaged by fire in 1975, Inveraray castle has been completely restored and is now the official clan seat. The current clan chief is Torquil Ian Campbell.