If there is one subject we could talk about for hours, it is the history of Scotland. But don’t worry, it’s far from boring: it goes back thousands of years, so there’s no shortage of topics of conversation! With centuries of fascinating history, who knows what you’ll discover as you explore Scotland’s past, especially if you are visiting the region of Argyll and Bute. Admire old memoirs, climb the turrets of a fascinating castle, enjoy the peace of a secluded abbey, or dive underground to discover forgotten streets.
Sween Castle is the oldest in Argyll and Bute and maybe the oldest stone-built castle in Scotland. Built-in the middle of the 12th century, it consists of a quadrangular wall, and the buildings are located inside. The castles based on this model of the enclosure were many to be built in Argyll and Bute during the 13th century. Tarbert Castle rises above the eponymous town and had been used by Robert I of Scotland as a royal fortress for the Western Highlands. Dunstan Castle, with 18 m high and 3 wide enclosures, was built by the MacDougalls of Lorn who lost it to the Campbells when they supported John of Scotland, defeated at the Battle of Brander’s Parade. Innis Chonnell Castle was the main fortress of the Campbells. Finally, Rothesay Castle is unique in Scotland for its circular enclosure. Smaller but also built buildings in the 13th century include Skipness Castle, Fraoch Eilean Castle, and the Castles of the Lord of the Islands such as Finlaggan on Isley where his courtyard stood, Craig on Jura used occasionally as a prison and Aros on Mull. The castles were built with local stones, and so the geology of the place is visible in the buildings. Castles and quarries were positioned near streams to allow the transport of materials.
Town of Tobermory – as a rural region, fishing and agriculture have long been essential pillars of the economy. The passage of fishing on an industrial scale is illustrated by the town of Tobermory, on Mull. The city was modified by the British Fisheries Society in the late 1780s: the seaside buildings were all changed, and a new town was entirely designed by Thomas Telford to benefit from the extensive herring resources. In terms of agriculture, the main industry was whiskey, which developed at the end of the 18th century and peaked in the 19th century with 42 distilleries in the town of Campbel town. These distilleries have been involved in the development of cities: Oban has developed around its distillery, founded in 1794, and still in operation. Although it is an industry traditionally associated with the region, or at least in the popular imagination, it is represented by only 12 distilleries in the early 2000s.
Kilchurn Castle is a castle that is ruined today, dating from the 15th century and located at the north-eastern end of Loch Awe, in Scotland. It is the ancestral home of the Campbell family of Glenorchy, who later was known as Earls of Breadalbane. The first construction of the castle was the keep and Laich Hall (facing Loch Awe). Today it is a picturesque and romantic place and the castle is one of the most photographed structures in Scotland. At the current age, it is closed but tourists can still visit the exterior of the castle.