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Dunaverty Castle

Only a small section of wall remains of Dunaverty Castle, located on the steep headland of Dunaverty Rock on the south coast of the Kintyre Peninsula. This naturally defensible site was an ancient stronghold that was besieged and captured in 712 AD by Sealbach, King of Dalriada. Rebuilt as a castle of enclosure in the 13th C., it was captured from rebels in 1240 by King Alexander II (1198 - 1249), then taken by the Vikings under King Haakon of Norway in 1263. It passed to the MacDonald Lords of the Isles and is said to have sheltered Robert the Bruce in 1306. King James IV (1473 - 1513) took possession of Dunaverty from the MacDonalds in 1494, but it was immediately retaken and the King's Governor hanged from the walls. The English under the Earl of Sussex attacked in 1558.

The bloodiest act of violence which took place here occurred in 1647. Royalist forces under Sir Alasdair MacDonald had withdrawn to Dunaverty following their defeat further north by the Covenanting Army. After a siege, the Royalists surrendered yet all 300 were then slaughtered by the Covenanters, commanded by General David Leslie (1601-82). The dead were buried in a small stone enclosure nearby.

The castle was finally dismantled in 1685 during the Rebellion led by Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll (1629-85), against King James VII (1633 - 1701).


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