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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Duntrune Castle (Argyllshire) - Past and Present

Duntrune – sometimes referred to as Duntroon – Castle lies on a promontory overlooking Loch Crinan not far from Kilmartin, famous for its prehistoric monuments.

It is a singularly beautiful location especially when one approaches it by the coast road.

Duntrune 1900 2016
TOP: Duntrune Castle circa 1900
BOTTOM: Duntrune Castle during a Scottish Castles Association visit in 2016

The castle dates from the 13th century and consisted of a strong wall enclosing an irregular courtyard devoid of flanking towers. Approach was by sea.

This primitive layout is typical of early castles on the western seaboard and can be witnessed at Dunstaffnage, Dunollie, Tioram and Mingarry. The ‘battlements’ are modern and detract from its appearance.

A typical L-plan tower house was added in one corner in the late 16th century. The entrance is in the re-entrant and leads to a vaulted basement where a small stair leads to the hall above. There has been much alteration to adapt it for modern requirements.

Duntrune2 1900 2016
TOP: An alternative view of Duntrune Castle circa 1900
BOTTOM: From a similar angle, Duntrune Castle in 2016

This was a property of the Campbells of Duntrune, until sold in 1792 to the Malcolms of Poltalloch. The Malcolm family seat became Poltalloch House, a William Burn mansion of 1849-53. This was unroofed in 1957 and abandoned.

The family reside once more in the old castle which is in excellent condition.

Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle.

Date posted: 28 Dec 2016Last updated: 12 Mar 2017

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