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Carnasserie Castle (HS)
Carnasserie Castle (HS)

Carnasserie Castle (HS)

One of Argyll’s finest castles, Carnasserie was built in the 1560s by John Carswell.

One of Argyll’s finest castles, Carnasserie was built in the 1560s by John Carswell, rector of Kilmartin and first protestant Bishop of the Isles. A learned man and former Chaplain to the Earl of Argyll, he translated John Knox’s Book of Common Order into Gaelic. This was the first book to be printed in Scots Gaelic.With a tower house and a hall range combined into a single building this was a castle of quality reflecting the wealth of John Carswell and his patron the Earl of Argyll. Finely finished windows and other details indicate that Carnasserie was intended to be more of a residence than a place to be defended.The castle was only lived in for just over a hundred years. In 1685 it was captured and burnt by Royalist forces after 9th Earl of Argyll’s support for Monmouth Rebellion. Despite the damage the castle has remained relatively intact. You can still climb up stairs to the top of the tower with its roof top walkway with superb views down the glen. Excellent interpretive panels help visitors understand the history of this magnificent building.Carnasserie is a mile north of Kilmartin. From the car park beside the road it is a short but steep walk up to the castle.

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