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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Address

Islay, United Kingdom
See all sites in Islay

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kevin Dale (7 months ago)
Fascinating place, history is in the air.
Penelope Marks (7 months ago)
A journey back through our history....fascinating and thought provoking.
Christine Hunter (10 months ago)
Well worth a visit. Although the ruins weren't as impressive as I thought they would be. The wooden walkway surrounded by flowers was very nice. Shame the visitors centre wasn't open when we were there I think it would have made for a better visit. All in all it was a nice walk with some lovely views up the loch.
Lorna Mackenzie (11 months ago)
Incredible engraved burial stones
Damian Ludwiczak (12 months ago)
Very well described and organised area of a former seat of Lords of the Isles. About 5 min walk to the actual site from the well surfaced car park and visitor centre (currently closed).
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