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Saddell Castle

A four-storey tower house with a garret, Saddell Castle lies on the shore of the Kilbrannan Sound, a quarter-mile (0.5 km) southeast of the village of Saddell on the east coast of the Kintyre Peninsula. It was built in 1508 as his residence by David Hamilton, Bishop of Argyll, using stone from the nearby ruined abbey. The Bishop had obtained a charter from King James IV to create a Barony from the Abbey lands. The Bishop sold the castle and its land to his half-brother James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (1516-75), who exchanged it for land on Arran with the MacDonald family. Burned, ransacked and ravaged by English raiders in 1558, it was later rebuilt both larger and stronger, with a trap door under the main entrance to dispatch unwanted guests into a pit prison beneath.

The estate passed from the MacDonalds to Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll (c.1576 - 1638) in 1607 and has remained the property of the Campbell family until modern times. The estate was acquired in 1975 by the Landmark Trust and the castle and its associated 18th century out-buildings have been restored for use as self-catering holiday accommodation.


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