Dun Ara was a stronghold of the MacKinnon clan who held the land here from 1354 onwards. The castle was still in use until the 17th century when it was abandoned. The castle was probably built on the site of a previous Dun or fort. The castle had a surrounding wall protecting a central keep or building on the main outcrop of rock. The location was valuable as it protected a harbour of boat landing as well.

The castle was fortified by enclosing the entire rock summit with a curtain-wall of stone and lime, which varies from about 1.3 m to 1.8 m in thickness. It is best preserved on the north-east side, where it rises to a maximum height of 1.8 m, but little remains on the south-west and south-east sides. The masonry was built with coarse, lime mortar, much of it has washed out of the facework giving it the appearance of dry-stone walling. It is possible that in places the lower courses of masonry pre-date the medieval castle and belong to an earlier fort that occupied the same site. The entrance is on the south-east side.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Krischan Peucker (6 months ago)
Short walk from the Glengorm Coffee Shop. Not much to see but a great view of thr coastline. And the cakes at the coffee shop are worth it.
Nigel Westwood (7 months ago)
Unique wild swimming spot
Maurice Thomson (8 months ago)
Hard to imagine a castle on top of rock outcrop but if you look close you can still see parts of the walls. Great scenery around area good walk down from Glengorm castle.
Michael Parker (2 years ago)
Great little basalt knoll with remains of fort clearly visible on top. A scramble to get up and back down, wonderful views from top.
Stuart Daniel (2 years ago)
Great place for wandering around, past sheep and highland coos to a beautiful seascape. Great views of land and sea
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.