Inveraray Castle

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Inveraray Castle
Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland, United Kingdom
Inveraray Castle - south-west facade.jpg
Inveraray Castle in 2014
Inveraray Castle is located in Scotland
Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle
Coordinates 56°14′15″N 5°04′24″W / 56.2375°N 5.073333°W / 56.2375; -5.073333Coordinates: 56°14′15″N 5°04′24″W / 56.2375°N 5.073333°W / 56.2375; -5.073333
Grid reference grid reference NN095092
Site information
Open to
the public
Site history
Materials Stone
Listed Building – Category A
Designated 20 July 1971
Reference no. 11552[1]

Inveraray Castle (Scottish Gaelic Caisteal Inbhir Aora, pronounced [ˈkʰaʃtʲal iɲɪɾʲˈɯːɾə]) is a country house near Inveraray in the county of Argyll, in western Scotland, on the shore of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch.[2]

It has been the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, chiefs of Clan Campbell, since the 18th century.

History and architecture[edit]

Work on the castle began in 1743 and replaced an earlier 15th-century castle.[3] In October 1746 the foundation stone was laid.[4] Built in Gothic Revival style, later additions included a third floor with dormer windows and steep conical roofs. The village of Inveraray was moved in the 1770s to give the castle a more secluded setting.[5]

Designers who worked on the house include William Adam and Roger Morris; the interior includes a number of neoclassical rooms created for the 5th Duke by Robert Mylne.[2] These are among the rooms open to the public. James Lees-Milne was not impressed by the house when he visited it in 1943, noting the "ugly" grey stone and calling it "grim and forbidding".[5]

In 1975 a devastating fire struck Inveraray and for some time the 12th Duke and his family lived in the castle's basement, while restorations requiring a worldwide fundraising drive were carried out.[6]

Modern era[edit]

The castle is open to visitors. Its collection includes more than 1,300 pikes, muskets, swords and other weapons.[5]

The 13th Duke and his family live in private apartments occupying two floors and set between two of the castle's crenellated circular towers. Recent renovations included the installation of the house's first central heating.[2]

Inveraray Castle is a Category A listed building. It is surrounded by a 16-acre (6.5 ha) garden and an estate of 60,000 acres (240 km2).[2] Besides welcoming visitors to the castle, the estate's activities include commercial forestry, tenanted farming, wind and hydro power and deer hunting.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2012 Christmas episode of Downton Abbey was partly filmed here; the castle portraying the fictional "Duneagle Castle". Inveraray Castle also featured in a series on Scottish castles made by American broadcaster PBS. The "Best of the West" festival, organised by the Duchess, is held at the castle each September.[5]



  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Details from listed building database (11552)". Retrieved 26 December 2016
  2. ^ a b c d Matthew Dennison (14 July 2011). "Inveraray Castle: home to the Duke of Argyll". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Coventry, Martin. (2008). Castles of the Clans: The Strongholds and Seats of 750 Scottish Families and Clans. pp. 76–87. ISBN 978-1-899874-36-1.
  4. ^ "Inveraray Castle". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Dickie, Mure (8 August 2015). "Scottish peer with a clan-do attitude". Financial Times. p. 2. 
  6. ^ "The Duke of Argyll". The Daily Telegraph. 23 April 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 

External links[edit]