Dunyvaig Castle

(Dunivaig Castle, Dunyveg Castle, Dun Naomhaig)

A much-ruined 13th century castle on the south coast of Islay, Dunyvaig Castle (also Dunivaig, Dunyveg, Gael: Dun Naomhaig) lies on a rocky headland at the east side of Lagavulin Bay, 2½ miles (4 km) east of Post Ellen. There are the vestiges of a 15th century keep and a 13th century courtyard, although much of what remains most-likely dates from the 16th century. Once a stronghold of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, the castle was forfeited to the crown along with their other properties in 1493. It then passed to the MacIans of Ardnamurchan, was leased back to the MacDonalds in 1519, given to the Campbells in 1543 but was leased once again to the MacDonalds in 1545. In the 17th century the castle was fought over by Alasdair 'Old' Colkitto MacDonald, first with the Campbells of Cawdor and then with the Covenanting Army under David Leslie (1601-82). Leslie took the castle following a siege and hanged MacDonald from the walls. The Campbells of Cawdor then occupied the castle until c.1677 when Sir Hugh Campbell demolished it and moved to the more comfortable surroundings of Islay House.

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