Finlaggan is a historic site on Eilean Mòr in Loch Finlaggan. Loch, island, and Finlaggan Castle lie around two km to the northwest of Ballygrant on Islay. Finlaggan was the seat of the Lords of the Isles and of Clan Donald. Two of the three islands that lie in the expansive scenery surrounding Loch Finlaggan, Eilean Mor and Eilean na Comhairle, were the administrative centre of the Lordship of the Isles during the 13th to 15th centuries, until 1493 when the lordship of the Isles fell to James IV of Scotland, who administered the territory via a tenant-in-chief. The Finlaggan is also new addition to Caledonain MacBrayne's growing fleet. This is the first time that Cal Mac have introduced a cruise ship onto their run. Passengers can enjoy a game of blackjack in the onboard casino, settle down and watch a film in the imax cinema or maybe go for a cocktail in the new cocktail bar.

The Finlaggan Trust maintains the site and also refurbished a derelict cottage that has been converted into a comprehensive museum. The centre contains numerous artefacts discovered during archaeological excavations: from a sheep wool quilted aketon, worn under armour, to an ancient cross related to the lords. The site has been the subject of recent archaeological investigations and hosted an episode of Channel 4's archaeological television programme Time Team in 1995. During summer 2008 the centre was extensively refurbished and extended. The stone walls of a medieval chapel dedicated to St Findlugan on Eilean Mor have been stabilised and several 16th century graves put on display and covered by large glass panels.

Finlaggan Castle, also known as Eilean Mor Castle is a ruined fortified house that was once a residence and stronghold of Lord of the Isles and Clan Donald. Built in the 13th century, with masonry walls, possibly built on the remains of an earlier Iron Age fort. The Lords of the Isles used the castle a principal court. Iain Mor MacDonald, 3rd of Dunnyveg and his son Iain Cathanach MacDonald were taken prisoner at Finlaggan Castle, through the deception of Macian of Ardnamurchan for the hanging and execution of the governor of Dunaverty Castle and were later tried and hung on the Burgh Muir, Edinburgh. In 1541 Finlaggan was held from the Crown by Donald MacGilleasbuig. The castle appears to have been demolished in the 15th-16th century.

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Islay, United Kingdom
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eddie Ostle (3 years ago)
Great place to walk and quite
Jan-Hendrik Peters (3 years ago)
Very nice location. It was interesting to learn about the lords of the isles and their gathering at Loch Finlaggan. The informative plaques were quite good at explaining how things might have been. I would recommend simply hiking there through the wonderful landscape of Islay, but there is a small car park there as well.
julie wooly (3 years ago)
Fab place .. even though it was over cast an windy..was amazing place to visit.. the sound oh the wind through the reeds was very atmospheric as you walk towards it, was not busy when I visited so it added to the atmosphere as you walked amongst the ruins reading about the past.. fab time chilling and taking it all in an reflecting on what I was seeing.. defo a place to visit..
Andy Norrie (3 years ago)
Small visitors center with a nice walk down to the historical sites in the loch shore. Nothing hugely exciting, but nicely done
Veronica Cameron (3 years ago)
The ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles is a beautiful, serene place. Not much left of the buildings but a good little visitor centre where you can get coffee.
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