Around the year 1098 Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway, had his longship carried across the isthmus here at Tarbert to signify his possession of the Isles (of which Kintyre always formed a part). Tarbert is a name from Gaelic for a small neck of land joining two larger pieces.
The first Castle built here was during the 13th century. It was always a Royal Castle and was greatly extended in the 14th century by Robert the Bruce with the addition of an outer bailey with towers. A towerhouse was added in the 16th century which is the most noticeable part of the remains today (pictured above). The position of the Castle is strong, giving superb views up East Loch Tarbert and beyond to the Firth of Clyde.
It was captured from the MacDonalds by James IV as part of his campaign to destroy the power of the Lords of the Isles. In 1685 the Castle was involved in another skirmish when Walter Campbell of Skipness Castle took the Castle.
It's history from then on is obscure and it seems likely it just fell into decay.
The ruins are publicly accessible from a footpath in the pretty little town of Tarbert and are open at all times.
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