CASTLE SWEEN

Argyll

Castle Sween, Argyll

Part of the way down the Kintyre peninsula, Castle Sween is one of the oldest stone Castles in Scotland - having been first built when this part of Scotland was still under Norse rule (hence the name "Sween" from "Sweyn").  It consists of the ruins of a 12th century curtain wall enclosing a courtyard with a 15th century keep.  The round tower (pictured above) contained the Castle's prison.

The Castle was held by a succession of Clans; the MacSweens, MacMillans, the Stewarts of Menteith, the MacNeills of Gigha (a nearby island) who held it for the MacDonalds until 1481 when the Campbells became keepers of the Castle on behalf of the Crown.

The Castle was captured and partially dismantled by Alasdair MacDonald in 1647 and was left to fall to ruin afterwards.  One tower collapsed in the 19th century.

What remains is  owned by Historic Scotland and is open to the public and freely accessible at any time, after a drive through a caravan park.  One of Andrew's chief memories of his visit is the fact he slid down the "motte" on his backside after falling over in the poor weather conditions!

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2009


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