Top Historic Sights in Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Isle of Arran

Lochranza Castle

Lochranza Castle dates from the 13th century when it was owned by the MacSweens. In 1262, King Alexander III granted the castle and its lands to Walter Stewart, the Earl of Menteith. It is believed that Robert the Bruce landed at Lochranza in 1306 on his return from Ireland to claim the Scottish throne. By 1371, the castle was the property of Robert II. It is thought that at this time it was used as a royal hunting lodge. ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Brodick Castle

Brodick Castle stands on a slope above the north side of Brodick Bay and under the shadow of Goatfell, which rises behind it. It can best be described as a strategically important castle developed over four centuries between the 1200s and the 1600s, with an 1800s stately home wrapped around it. The location was probably first used as a defensive site by the Vikings until they were driven from Arran, and the rest of the we ...
Founded: 1510 | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Machrie Moor Stone Circles

Machrie Moor Stone Circles is the collective name for six stone circles on the Isle of Arran. Six stone circles are visible on the moor immediately east of the derelict Moss Farm. Some circles are formed of granite boulders, while others are built of tall red sandstone pillars. The moor is covered with other prehistoric remains, including standing stones, burial cairns and cists. Several hut circles can also be seen as lo ...
Founded: 1800-1600 BC | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Torrylin Cairn

Torrylin Cairn is the remains of a Neolithic chambered tomb. The cairn has been interfered with by stone robbing and later dumping of field stones and its original shape and size are uncertain. The chamber is 6.7 metres long by about 1.2 metres wide with each compartment about 1.4 metres long. Torrylin Cairn is of a type found across south-west Scotland known as a Clyde cairn, of which a better preserved example can be fo ...
Founded: 3300 BC | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Auchagallon Stone Circle

Auchagallon Stone Circle is the remains of a Neolithic or Bronze Age burial cairn, surrounded by a circle of fifteen stones. The cairn and stone circle is situated on a slight ledge of a west-facing slope, overlooking Machrie Bay. The circle comprises fifteen blocks varying in height from 0.5 metres to 2.3 metres. The stones are of red sandstone, except two which are a pale grey granite. The circle has a maximum diameter ...
Founded: 2000 BC | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Giants' Graves

The Giants' Graves are the remains of two Neolithic chambered tombs on the Isle of Arran. They are situated within 40 metres of each other, and stand on a ridge 120 metres above the sea in a clearing in a forest, overlooking Whiting Bay to the south. The northern cairn has been much robbed, but the edges are still well-defined. The chamber is 6 metres long, and around 1 metre wide. It was excavated in 1902, and among the ...
Founded: 4000-2500 BCE | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Kildonan Castle Ruins

Kildonan Castle stands on the southern coast of the Isle of Arran. The castle"s name is derived from the name of a former resident, Saint Donan, who is said to be buried on the island. It was built in the 13th century by the MacDonalds, the Lords of the Isles. The castle stands on the cliffs, overlooking the island of Pladda and the entrance to the Firth of Clyde. It was built to defend against enemies attacking thro ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Carn Ban

Carn Ban is a Neolithic chambered tomb located on the Isle of Arran. It is considered as one of the most famous of the Neolithic long cairns of south-west Scotland. It is of a type found across south-west Scotland known as a Clyde cairn. It is trapezoidal in shape, with a semicircular forecourt at the upper northeast end. The forecourt has an entrance leading into a long chamber divided into compartments by cross-slabs, s ...
Founded: 2000 BC | Location: Isle of Arran, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.