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Mingary Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Mingary Castle, an ancient fortalice in Ardnamurchan parish, Argyllshire, on the S shore of the Ardnamurchan peninsula, at the mouth of Loch Sunart, looking along the Sound of Mull, and confronting the north-western extremity of Mull island, 6 miles N by W of Tobermory and 20 WSW of Salen. Crowning a scarped rock, which rises 24 feet murally from the sea, it measures more than 200 feet in circumference; and has an irregular hexagonal outline, adapted to the configuration of the ground, being broadest on the landward side, where it is defended by a dry ditch. Its high, strong, battlemented, outer wall is seemingly of ancient construction, little fitted to resist artillery; but a three-story house and some offices are said to have been erected so late as the beginning of last century. Anciently the seat of the MacIans, a clan of Macdonalds, descended from an early Lord of the Isles, it twice was occupied by James IV.-first in 1493, when he issued a charter hence; next in 1495, when he received the submission of the chieftains of the Isles. It was, partly at least, demolished, in 1517, by the Knight of Lochalsh; sustained a siege, in 1588, by the Macleans, but was relieved by a Government force; and was captured, in 1644, by Colkitto, who made it the prison of a small body of Covenanters, including three ministers. Now, though strictly a ruin, it is still in a state of tolerable preservation.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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