Dunollie Castle is a small ruined castle located on a hill north of the town of Oban, on the west coast of Scotland in Argyll. The site enjoys views over towards the island of Kerrera and a view of the town and outlying isles; the castle is open to the public as part of the Dunollie Museum and Grounds. There was a fortification on this high promontory in the Early Middle Ages, when Dunollie was the royal centre of the Cenél Loairn within the kingdom of Dál Riata; the Irish annals record that "Dun Ollaigh" was attacked or burned down three times, in 686, 698, in 701. It was subsequently rebuilt in 714 by Selbach mac Ferchair, the King of Dál Riata credited with destroying the site in 701. Excavations in the 1970s suggest that this early fortification was abandoned some time in the 10th century; the area around Dunollie subsequently became part of the semi-independent Kingdom of the Isles, ruled over by Somerled in the 12th century. On his death the MacDougalls became Lords of Lorne. Dougall, Somerled’s son, held most of Argyll and the islands of Mull, Jura, Tiree and many others in the 12th century.
Excavations show that Dunollie was refortified with an earthwork castle in the 13th century or the late 12th century. The builder may have been his son Duncan. Ewan MacDougall, great-grandson of Somerled and the third chief of the MacDougalls, switched the clan's allegiance in the mid 13th century: allied with Haakon IV of Norway, from the 1250s Ewan remained loyal to the kings of Scotland. In the 14th century Ewan's grandson John MacDougall, along with his kinsmen the Comyns, sided with the Balliols against the interests of Robert the Bruce. John MacDougall's army defeated the Bruce at the Battle of Dalrigh in 1306, but Bruce returned in 1308 and crushed the MacDougalls at the Battle of the Pass of Brander; the MacDougall lands of Lorne were subsequently forfeit and were given to the Campbells, though Dunollie and other estates were regained in the 14th century. The existing castle ruins date from the 15th century; the Marquis of Argyll captured the castle in 1644, but it was returned to the MacDougalls in 1661.
In 1746, the MacDougalls abandoned Dunollie Castle and built Dunollie House just downhill from the castle ruins. In recent years, a charitable trust was formed titled The MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust, who are responsible for the care of the historic buildings and collections held in this an ancestral site. Today, the Dunollie Preservation Trust operates Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds - a visitor attractions and social enterprise. Through the running of this organisation, all funds raised contribute to ongoing conservation and development efforts as well as education and learning. Remains of a historical herb garden have been discovered in the castle grounds. Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654 Dunstaffnage Castle Alcock, Leslie. "Reconnaissance excavations on early historic fortifications and other royal sites in Scotland, 1974-84: 2, Excavations at Dunollie Castle, Argyll, 1978". Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 117: 119–147. Official website
The Duan Albanach is a Middle Gaelic poem found with the Lebor Bretnach, a Gaelic version of the Historia Brittonum of Nennius, with extensive additional material. Written during the reign of Mael Coluim III, it is found in a variety of Irish sources, the usual version comes from the Book of Lecan and Book of Ui Maine, it follows on from the Duan Eireannach. It is a praise poem of 27 stanzas sung at court to a musical accompaniment by the harp. If performed in a public context, it is possible that the audience would have participated in the performance; the Duan recounts the kings of the Scots. The poem begins with the following stanzas. In the final stanzas it is seen that the poem dates from the time of Malcolm III, in the second half of the 11th century; the Prophecy of Berchán Pictish Chronicle Chronicle of the Kings of Alba Senchus fer n-Alban Flann Mainistreach Duan Albanach - English Trans. by William F. Skene Duan Albanach at CELT
Morvern also spelt Morven, is a peninsula and traditional district in the Highlands, on the west coast of Scotland. It lies south of the districts of Ardgour and Sunart, is bounded on the north by Loch Sunart and Glen Tarbert, on the south east by Loch Linnhe and on the south west by the Sound of Mull; the name is derived from the Gaelic A' Mhorbhairne. The highest point is the summit of the Corbett Creach Bheinn. Administratively Morvern is now part of the ward management area of Lochaber, in Highland council area, it forms part of the traditional shire and current registration county of Argyll. Morvern is 250 square miles with a current population of about 320. Morvern was known as Kinelvadon, which William J. Watson takes to be from Cineal Bhaodain, that lands of the Cenél Báetáin, a division of the Cenél Loairn named after Báetán, a putative great-grandson of Loarn mac Eirc; the Senchus fer n-Alban states that "Baotan has twenty houses". The ruined Ardtornish Castle was in the possession of Somerled in the 12th century and the Lords of the Isles, whose ownership was recalled in a poem of the same name by Sir Walter Scott.
Kinlochaline Castle was once the seat of the MacInnes clan. It was destroyed by the army of Oliver Cromwell and restored in 1890. Before the Highland clearances the population of Morvern was about 2500; the history of the parish of Morvern in the 19th century has been detailed in Philip Gaskell's Morvern Transformed. Some residents of St Kilda were relocated to Lochaline, the main village of Morvern, when the island was evacuated in 1930. On 19th- and early 20th-century Ordnance Survey maps, Morvern is spelled "Morven". From 1845 to 1975 most of the peninsula formed the civil parish of Morvern; the Kingairloch area in the east formed part of the civil parish of Ardgour. From 1930 to 1975 Morvern formed part of the landward district of Ardnamurchan in Argyll. Ferries depart from Lochaline to the Isle of Mull. Rahoy has a deer farm supported by Islands Enterprise; the Morvern Community Development Company, the local development trust, was established in 1999. It aims to provide increased employment opportunities for the young, to create a wind energy project.
In 2010 it was announced that MCDC would receive support for a full-time development worker from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The closure of the silica mine at Lochaline was announced in December 2008, with the loss of 11 jobs. Lochaline Quartz Sand Ltd, a joint venture by Minerali Industriali and NSG Pilkington, reopened the mine in September 2012; the mine produces high quality silica sand, used in the production of solar panels. Ardtornish, one of the largest estates in the area, received planning permission in 2010 for a new "township" of 20 houses at Achabeag, two miles west of Lochaline. Duncan McNab, born at Achrinich in May 1820, was a Catholic missionary in Queensland and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Rev Norman Macleod, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1900, was born in the manse at Morvern. Ardgour Ardnamurchan Glensanda Moidart Sunart Gaskell, Philip Morvern Transformed: A Highland Parish in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press.
Maclean, Charles Island on the Edge of the World. Edinburgh. Canongate. Murray, W. H; the Companion Guide to the West Highlands of Scotland. London. Collins
Dunadd is a hillfort dating from the Iron Age and early medieval period in Kilmichael Glassary in Argyll and Bute and believed to be the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata. Dal Riata, as a kingdom, appeared in Argyll in the early centuries AD, after the Romans had abandoned Scotland. Rulers of Argyll were Gaelic speakers. Dunadd is a hill. Dunadd is a rocky crag that may have been one time an island and now lies inland near the River Add, from which it takes its name, a little north of Lochgilphead; the surrounding land, now reclaimed, was boggy and known as the Mòine Mhòr'Great Moss' in Gaelic. This no doubt increased the defensive potential of the site. Detailed analysis of sea-level changes in the region argue that the Dun was an island or promontory into historic times, that receding sea levels left the fortification open to siege and seizure in the 6th to 7th centuries Originally occupied in the Iron Age, the site became a seat of the kings of Dál Riata, it is known for its unique stone carvings below the upper enclosure, including a footprint and basin thought to have formed part of Dál Riata's coronation ritual.
On the same flat outcrop of rock is an incised boar in Pictish style, an inscription in the ogham script. The inscription is dated to the late 8th century or after. Dunadd is mentioned twice in early sources. In 683 the Annals of Ulster record: "The siege of Dún At and the siege of Dún Duirn" without further comment on the outcome or participants. In the same chronicle the entry for 736 states: "Aengus son of Fergus, king of the Picts, laid waste the territory of Dál Riata and seized Dún At and burned Creic and bound in chains two sons of Selbach, i.e. Donngal and Feradach."The site was occupied after 736, at least into the 9th century. It is mentioned twice in sources, suggesting that it retained some importance. In 1436, it is recorded that "Alan son of John Riabhach MacLachlan of Dunadd" was made seneschal of the lands of Glassary. In June 1506, commissioners appointed by James IV, including the earl and bishop of Argyll, met at Dunadd to collect rents and resolve feuds; the site is an Ancient Monument, under the care of Historic Scotland, is open to the public.
Because Dunadd is mentioned in early sources, is identifiable, it has been excavated on several occasions and has one of the most important ensembles of finds from any early medieval site in Scotland. Finds range from the 6th to the 8th centuries AD; these include tools, quernstones, imported pottery and motif-pieces and moulds for the manufacture of fine metalwork. In Rosemary Sutcliff's 1965 novel The Mark of the Horse Lord the Dal Riada undergo an internal struggle for control of royal succession, with Dun Monaidh central to the conflict, including a depiction of royal coronation and use of carved footprint. Dunadd is the location for Claire R. McDougall's novel "Veil of Time," in which a modern-day woman is transported back to Dunadd's heyday in the 8th century. All the features of Dunadd, including the footprint, the boar, the well and the tumble down ruins are features of the story, as are the modern farm and cottages. Other ancient sites in the Kilmartin Valley play a part in the narrative.
Petrosomatoglyph Three Dimensional Modelling of Scottish Early Medieval Sculpted Stones AVI, QuickTime and VRML format images of Dunadd and the surrounds. The Kingdom of the Gaels, BBC Scotland - Scotland's History Brief history with photos with respect to the Siol Alpin56°5′9.33″N 5°28′42.55″W
Oban is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Fort William. During the tourist season, the town can play host to up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a setting in the Firth of Lorn; the bay is a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera. To the north, is the long low island of Lismore, the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour; the site where Oban now stands has been used by humans since at least mesolithic times, as evidenced by archaeological remains of cave dwellers found in the town. Just outside the town stands Dunollie Castle, on a site that overlooks the main entrance to the bay and has been fortified since the Bronze age. Prior to the 19th century, the town itself supported few households, sustaining only minor fishing, trading and quarrying industries, a few hardy tourists; the Renfrew trading company established a storehouse there in about 1714 as a local outlet for its merchandise, but a Custom-house was not deemed necessary until 1736 when "Oban being reckoned a proper place for clearing out vessels for the herring fishery".
The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery, founded there in 1794. The town was raised to a burgh of barony in 1811 by royal charter. Sir Walter Scott visited the area in 1814, the year in which he published his poem The Lord of the Isles; the town was made a Parliamentary Burgh in 1833. A rail link - the Callander and Oban Railway - was authorised in 1864 but took years to reach the town; the final stretch of track to Oban opened on 30 June 1880. This brought further prosperity, giving new energy to tourism. At this time work on the ill-fated Oban Hydro was commenced but abandoned, left to fall into disrepair, after 1882 when Dr Orr, the schemes originator, realised he had grossly underestimated its cost. Work on McCaig's Tower, a prominent local landmark, started in 1895, it was paid for by John Stewart McCaig and was constructed, in hard times, to give work for local stone masons. However, its construction ceased in 1902 on the death of its benefactor. During World War II, Oban was used by Merchant and Royal Navy ships and was an important base in the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Royal Navy had a signal station near Ganavan, an anti-submarine indicator loop station, which detected any surface or submarine vessels between Oban and Lismore. There was a controlled minefield in the Sound of Kerrera, operated from a building near the caravan site at Gallanach. There was a Royal Air Force flying boat base at Ganavan and on Kerrera, an airfield at North Connel built by the Royal Air Force. A Sector Operations Room was built near the airfield. Oban was important during the Cold War because the first Transatlantic Telephone Cable came ashore at Gallanach Bay; this carried the Hot Line between the USSR presidents. At North Connel, next to the airfield/airport was the NRC of the Royal Observer Corps. Since the 1950s, the principal industry has remained tourism, though the town is an important ferry port, acting as the hub for Caledonian MacBrayne ferries to many of the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides; as with the rest of the British Isles, Oban experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters.
The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is at Dunstaffnage, about 2.7 miles north-north-east of Oban town centre. Rainfall is high, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, the temperature falls below 0 °C; the local culture is Gaelic. In 2011, 8.2% of the town's population over age 3 could speak Gaelic and 11.3% had some facility in the language. Oban is considered the home of the Royal National Mòd, since it was first held there in 1892, with ten competitors on a Saturday afternoon; the town hosted the centenary Mod in 1992 and in 2003 the 100th Mod, the two events attracting thousands of competitors and visitors. The Mod is held in Oban every 6–8 years, has last been held in October 2015. An annual Highland Games, known as the Argyllshire Gathering, is held in the town; the Corran Halls theatre acts as a venue for community events and touring entertainers, touring companies such as Scottish Opera. The town has a two-screen cinema, which closed in early 2010.
Thanks to a local community initiative supported by a number of famous names, it reopened in August 2012 as the Phoenix Cinema. Oban has itself been used as a backdrop to several films, including Ring of Bright Water and Morvern Callar; the Oban War and Peace Museum advances the education of present and future generations by collecting, maintaining and exhibiting items of historical and cultural interest relating to the Oban area in peacetime and during the war years. A museum operates within Oban Distillery, just behind the main seafront; the distillation of whisky in Oban predates the town: whisky has been produced on the site since 1794. The Hope MacDougall collection is a unique record of the working and domestic lives of people in Scotland. Music is central to Gaelic culture, there is lively interest in the town. In the 2010 pipe band season, the local Oban High School Pipe Band, led by Angus MacColl, was successful in winning the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, the Cowal Games competition, an
Lorne is an ancient province in the west of Scotland, now a district in the Argyll and Bute council area. The district gives its name to the Lynn of Lorn National Scenic Area, one of forty such areas in Scotland, which have been defined so as to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to ensure its protection from inappropriate development; the national scenic areas cover 15,726 ha, of which 10,088 ha are marine seascape, includes the whole of the Isle of Lismore, along with neighbouring areas on the mainland such as Benderloch and Port Appin, the Shuna Island. The region may have given its name to the traditional Scottish breakfast dish Lorne sausage. Lorn is bordered on the west by the Firth of Lorne; the northern border is Glen Coe, Rannoch Moor, which detach it from Lochaber, while on the east, the Bridge of Orchy hills, Glen Orchy, separate it from Breadalbane. Running along the south eastern border, Loch Awe separates Lorn from Knapdale, the rest of Argyll to the south; the north of Lorn is entirely dominated by Glen Etive, its surrounding mountains.
The south, by contrast, is undulating boggy moorland, punctured by occasional lochs, meandering burns. The two parts of Lorn are separated by the Pass of Brander, which forms the main transport corridor, aside from routes around Lorn's perimeter. Though it has only existed since the 19th century, Oban is the only large settlement in Lorn, forms the modern district's capital. Once labelled the "Charing Cross of the Highlands" because of the range of steamer connections with the islands and Argyll coast, Oban is still a busy port for ferries, cruise liners, fishing boats and pleasure craft. In the Iron Age, the inhabitants of Lorn established a number of hillforts, of which the most substantial was Dun Ormidale, located at Gallanach, south of Oban. Whether or not they were Picts is unclear. In the 6th century, Irish migrants crossed the straits of Moyle, invading Lorn and the coast to its south, as well as the islands between there and Moyle in Ulster, establishing the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata.
In around AD 500, Loarn mac Eirc became king of Dál Riata. Dál Riata came to be split between a small number of kin groups, of which the Cenél Loairn controlled Mull and what is now Lorn; the Cenél Loairn established their main stronghold - Dun Ollaigh - a few miles north of Dun Ormidale. Irish annals record several attacks on Dun Ollaigh, including at least one by the king of Dál Riata, but the circumstances are not clear. Dun Ollaigh remained a stronghold throughout the existence of Dál Riata, but was abandoned shortly afterwards. In the 9th century, Viking invasions led to the destruction of Dál Riata, its replacement by the Kingdom of the Isles, which became part of the crown of Norway following Norwegian unification; the Kingdom of the Isles was much more extensive than Dál Riata, encompassing the Outer Hebrides and Skye. To Norway, the island kingdom became meaning southern isles; the former lands of Dal Riata acquired the geographic description Argyle: the Gaelic coast. In the late 11th century, Magnus Barefoot, the Norwegian king, launched a military campaign which, in 1098, led the king of Scotland to quitclaim to Magnus all claim of sovereign authority over the territory of the Kingdom of the Isles.
In the mid 12th century, Somerled seized control of the realm from his brother-in-law, the King of the Isles. When he died in 1164 as king, half of the kingdom was retained by his descendants. Lorn appears to have been fallen into possession of his son, eponymous ancestor of the MacDougalls. In the 13th century, the MacDougalls established the twin castles of Aros and Ardtornish, which together controlled the Sound of Mull. In the century, they built Dunstaffnage Castle, a few miles to the north of Dun Ollaigh, as a more comfortable headquarters. At the end of the century, Dun Ollaigh itself was re-fortified. Throughout the early 13th century, the Scottish King, Alexander II, had made aggressive attempts to expand his realm into Suðreyjar, despite Edgar's earlier quitclaim; this led to a period of high hostility between Norway and Scotland, that continued under Alexander III, Alexander II's successor. Haakon died shortly after the indecisive Battle of Largs. In 1266, his more peaceable successor ceded his nominal authority over Suðreyjar to the Scottish king by the Treaty of Perth, in return for a large sum of money.
Alexander acknowledged the semi-independent authority of Somerled's heirs. At the end of the century, a dispute arose over the Scottish kingship between King John Balliol and Robert de Bruys. By this point, Somerled's descendants had formed into three families - as well as Dougall's heirs, there were the heirs of his nephew Donald, those of Donald's brother; when de Bruys defeated John, he declared the MacDougall lands forfeit, gave them to the MacDonalds and MacRory, with the latter acquiring Lorn. De Bruys had received support against the MacDougalls from the Campbells, based at Innis Chonnell Castle at Lorn's southern edge. Neil Campbell, son of the baron of Innis Chonnel, was rewarded
Firth of Lorn
The Firth of Lorn or Lorne in origin refers to the waters off the coast of a now obsolete geopolitical region, Lorn or Lorne. A firth in Scottish English is a long estuary, the same as or similar to a fjord, although somewhat arbitrary in application; the name of Lorn descends from the proto-history of Scotland. A nineteenth-century geographical reference defines it as being a district in the county of Argyllshire, where the –shire segment reflects a former political status of Argyll. Lorn was a maritime district, located on Scotland's west coast, on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe and the Firth of Lorn; the northern border was Loch Leven. The eastern and southern borders were the line of Loch Awe, Loch Avich, Loch Melfort. Lorne lost its geopolitical status with the passage of the Local Government Act 1973, effective in 1975, it had survived the same act of 1947 and again 1972, which retained most of the traditional local structure. In 1975, two Lorne's appeared and South, both now burghs in the county of Argyll, in the region of Strathclyde.
With the abolition of the counties in 1996, Argyll and Bute and part of Dumbarton were united into the Argyll and Bute Council Area. It contains only "towns and villages." None of them are Lorn. Lorn shattered; the firth, which had long since acquired the name, remains a living concept. In 2005 much of the eastern side became a Special Area of Conservation according to European Union's Habitats Directive; the reefs and skerries of the small islands on that side are deemed habitats of interest. Two of Scotland's 40 defined national scenic areas are to be found in the firth: the Lynn of Lorn National Scenic Area covers the island of Lismore and the surrounding seas, along with neighbouring areas on the mainland such as Benderloch and Port Appin; the naming of the firth after Lorn, a major province on its eastern shore, reflecting the geopolitical power distribution of the times, became less apt as Lorn receded and disappeared. Much of Lorn bordered Loch Linnhe, a fiord to the north that, for whatever reason, escaped being included in the firth.
Moreover, the firth extended far to the south of Lorn. To some writers, the name was to be extended south to Colonsay, but to others it went only as far south as the Garvellachs; the official maps of the British Empire did not resolve the exact borders of the firth. Admiralty chart 2724, mapping the coast from the North Channel, places the label, “Firth of Lorn,” on only the narrowest part of the firth, leaving the reader to guess how far south it applied, the concomitant Ordnance Survey map follows the same convention; the waters between the open Atlantic to the north of the North Channel and the named inner firth are an undefined and unnamed lagoon. In the last two or three decades the firth has become the subject of geologic and biologic field studies undertaken by research organizations working for, or with the permission of, Scottish Natural Heritage, a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Scottish Government, which implements the acts of the Scottish Parliament; the recommendations of SNH are binding.
It has responsibility for the study and allowed use of Scotland’s natural resources including the Firth of Lorn. Although there is no universally binding geopolitical terminology apart from that defined by legislation, the SNH - in promulgating research - has in fact endorsed a more precise definition of the firth. Prior to the establishment of the SAC of 2005, the SNH was one organization of a consortium funding the Broadscale Mapping Project, 1996-1998, conducted by the SeaMap Research Group, it conducted surveys by a variety of methods electronic, mapping the presence of benthic communities in a number of areas, including the Firth of Lorn. The report of this survey, instrumental in getting the SAC designated, defines the firth as follows; the “Inner Firth of Lorn” is the waters directly south of the peninsula between Loch Buie and Loch Spelve on Mull and east of the peninsulas between Loch Spelve and Duart Bay. The waters around the islands on the east side of the firth are included, being in the current SAC though they may have their own names.
The “Outer Firth of Lorn” is the waters south of the Ross of Mull as far as the west coast of the Isle of Jura. There is no indication that the Sound of Jura is to be considered in the firth though its northern portion was in the study area; the inner firth's northeast end forms a junction with several other arms of the sea, namely Loch Linnhe, the Lynn of Lorne, Loch Etive, the Sound of Mull. Loch Spelve and Loch Don on the Isle of Mull and Loch Feochan on the mainland are inlets of the Firth of Lorn. On the southeast side, there are several channels and sounds in the Slate Islands; the Ordnance Gazetteer of 1882 cites a length of 17 miles from the intersection of Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull, with widths of from 5 miles to 15 miles, inclusive of the islands on the east side, such as Kerrera and the Slate Islands. The west side is an ample deep-water channel leading inland to the Caledonian Canal. Although the English word firth, the Gaelic equivalent linne, all the major firth names, have been in use since proto-historic times in Scotland, the combination “Firth of Lorn” was not innovated until the late 19th century.
Lorn is presumed in modern Gaelic dictionaries to be a syncope of its Gaelic form Latharna, as is the parallel Larne, of northern Ireland. Whether the –th- originated as a phoneme or as a non-phonetic graphem