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Dunaverty 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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Dunaverty, a quondam castle in Southend parish, Argyllshire, on a small bay of its own name, 5 miles E by N of the Mull of Kintyre, and 10½ SSW of Campbeltown. Crowning a steep pyramidal peninsula (95 feet), with cliff descending sheer to the sea, and defended on the land side by a double or triple rampart and a fosse, it appears, both from its site and from its structure, to have been a place of uncommon strength, and commanded the approach to Scotland at the narrowest part of sea between Scotland and Ireland. An early stronghold of the Lords of the Isles, said to have given shelter to Robert Bruce at the ebb of his fortunes, it was captured and garrisoned by James IV. in 1493, and in the following year recaptured by Sir John of Isla, who hanged the governor from the wall, in the sight of the King and the fleet. In 1647 it capitulated to General David Leslie, who put every mother's son of its garrison to the sword, instigated thereto by Mr John Nave, his excellent chaplain, who ` never ceased to tempt him to that bloodshed, yea, and threatened him with the curses befell Saul for sparing the Amalekites. ' The castle has been so completely demolished that scarcely a vestige of it now exists.

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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