Achallader Castle is a ruined 16th-century tower house. Sir Duncan Campbell of Glen Orchy acquired the castle and surrounding lands through his treachery and betrayal of the Chief of the Mcinleisters in 1587. It is said that when the Fletchers owned Achallader, Sir Duncan Campbell - known as Black Duncan - ordered an English servant (or soldier) to pasture his horse in the Fletchers’ corn. When warned off by the Fletchers - in Gaelic - he did not understand; when he did not remove his horse they shot him. Black Duncan, affecting concern that the Fletcher laird would be hanged for the killing, advised him to flee to France. Before he fled he passed the property to Black Duncan, supposedly until his return, to prevent it being forfeited to the Crown. The Fletchers never recovered the property. The MacGregors burnt the castle in 1603.

In the summer of 1683 a Commission for the settlement of the Highlands, led by Sir William Drummond of Cromlix stayed at the castle, welcoming, among others McIain, the future victim, with his clan, of the massacre of Glencoe. In 1689, with William and Mary now reigning, the McIain’s returning from their victory at Killiecrankie and repulse at Dunkeld, pulled down what they could of the castle. It was never restored.

In June 1691 John, Earl of Breadalbane, empowered by King William to treat with the clans, conferred with the highland chiefs in the ruin of the castle. By a mixture of threats, promises of bribes, and duplicity, he persuaded most of the clans -but not the McIains - to enter a treaty. This included secret provisions, which he later denied, including the right of the chiefs to request relief from their oaths of allegiance from the exiled James VII and II. The promised bribes did not materialise.

The castle formerly rose to three storeys and a garret, well defended by shot-holes. Now only two walls, one with a trace of corbelling, remain, sheltering the farm buildings of Achallader Farm.



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Founded: 16th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Crystal Bianucci (4 years ago)
Gorgeous in photos but not open to the general public. Fun to drive by when the leaves are off the trees and just look.
Michelle Lawrence (5 years ago)
Had an amazing time today and Gordon was very polite and information on the place was 1st class some where I will be definitely going back to visit loved the place so much as did my grandson he was so excited x
Kathleen Kellogg (5 years ago)
Loved it! Bring sturdy walking shoes and expect a rain shower or two... follow the restoration project on the website or volunteer to help. We had a delightful tour of the grounds with Conor narrating St each turn.. Ann and Jean in the office are very knowledgeable. Jean provided our group with a tasty hot tea and fixings that we arranged a few days beforehand. Thank you everyone for such a nice visit.
Hazel Worden (5 years ago)
Fantastic castle, tour guide very knowledgeable. Historical talk very interesting. I advise sturdy walking boots or good solid footwear as tourain is steep.
Tony Ware (5 years ago)
My wife bought a square foot of the castle grounds 2 years ago. She can legally call herself "Lady" ... On her passport. Bought another for a California friend, so we did the tour with her. Tough times in the 1700s. Glad we are alive now.
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