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Postcode: PR31 8RN

Lat/Long:  56.1512N 5.4808W

Notes:  Castle is located two miles north of Kilmartin off the A816 at the connection with the B830. There is a car park adjacent to the footpath to the castle.


A ruined Tower House built in the sixteenth century but designed to look older. Parapet access is possible giving good views over the surrounding area.

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Castle is owned and managed by Historic Scotland.


1. Carnasserie Castle was used to imprison a John Campbell of Ardkinglas who was suspected of complicity in the murder of another member of his clan; Campbell of Cawdor. He was allegedly tortured.

Scotland > Argyll, Clyde and Ayrshire CARNASSERIE CASTLE

By appearance Carnasserie Castle  could be mistaken for a medieval structure but in reality it is a sixteenth century Tower House designed with comfort and style in mind. Seeing action during the Monmouth rebellion against James VII, the castle was taken by Royalist forces and slighted by explosives.  


Carnasserie Castle was built in the mid-sixteenth century nominally on behalf of the Earl of Argyll but the real use was as a comfortable residence for John Carswell, Superintendent of Argyll in the then newly formed Church of Scotland. Built in the style of a tower house, it was given a distinctly medieval look but this is deceptive; comfort was the overriding priority in the design and construction of the castle. It replaced an earlier fortification, built at an unknown time prior to the fifteenth century, which was situated nearby the current structure.  

Upon the death of John Carswell the castle passed to the Earl of Argylls (Clan Campbell) and was held by them until the nineteenth century. However, in 1685 as a result of the Earl of Argyll's support for the Monmouth rebellion against James VII (II of England), the castle was captured by Royalist forces who slighted it with explosives. The castle has been in a ruinous state ever since.

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