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Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel, Oban

4.0
#7 of 28 in Historic Sites in Argyll and Bute
Castle Tourist Spot
Dunstaffnage Castle is a partially ruined castle in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It lies 3mi N.N.E. of Oban, situated on a platform of conglomerate rock on a promontory at the south-west of the entrance to Loch Etive, and is surrounded on three sides by the sea.The castle dates back to the 13th century, making it one of Scotland's oldest stone castles, in a local group which includes Castle Sween and Castle Tioram. Guarding a strategic location, it was built by the MacDougall lords of Lorn, and has been held since the 15th century by the Clan Campbell. To this day there is a hereditary Captain of Dunstaffnage, although they no longer reside at the castle. Dunstaffnage is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is open to the public, although the 16th century gatehouse is retained as the private property of the Captain. The prefix dun in the name means "fort" in Gaelic, while the rest of the name derives from Norse stafr-nis, "headland of the staff".HistoryBefore DunstaffnageBefore the construction of the castle, Dunstaffnage may have been the location of a Dál Riatan stronghold, known as Dun Monaidh, as early as the 7th century. It was recorded, by John Monipennie in 1612, that the Stone of Destiny was kept here after being brought from Ireland, and before it was moved to Scone Palace in 843. However, Iona and Dunadd are considered more likely, given their known connections with Dál Riatan and Strathclyde kings. Hector Boece records that the stone was kept at "Evonium", which has traditionally been identified with Dunstaffnage, although in 2010 the writer A. J. Morton identified Evonium with Irvine in Ayrshire.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
382 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Just about 3 miles north of Oban. Very scenic location on a peninsula. Water on 3 sides. Tickets cost £5 per person. There's an instructive floor that tells you about the castle (we skipped it). It's ...  more »
  • We are members of Historic Scotland. We joined after visiting Elcho castle in perthshire. Dunstaffnage is a high quality visitor attraction if you like Scottish history. The story boards provide a goo...  more »
  • Perfect weather to frame a super visit to a stunning piece of history. Take your time and walk the high walls as well as the three storey house. Great vantage points for views in all directions.  more »
Google
  • Nice castle, made of stone and some wood but mostly stone. If you are interested in castles made of stone with some wooden bits (doors, floors etc) this is for you.
  • Amazing castle ruins. Not crowded when we were there, which was great for pictures.
  • Nice grounds castle great to see once.
  • Good proper castle.
  • never got to see inside as we were to late but get lovely views and the out side of the castle is just lovely and so is the little beach they have.

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Where to stay in Oban

Oban's lodging options are scattered around the harbor and surrounding hills. B&Bs and inns in the main city square are convenient for sightseeing. Self-catering apartments and cottages dot the hillsides and offer views over the harbor and town. Visit the website of the town's tourism association to find and book seasonal deals on accommodations.
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