Kilmory Castle is a large 19th-century house located just to the south of Lochgilphead. It is currently occupied by the headquarters of Argyll and Bute Council. The gardens are open to the public and form part of a country park on the former estate.
There was a church at Kilmory in ancient times, and in the 1550s the church and lands of Kilmory were held by the Abbot of Paisley. In 1575 the estate was owned by Donald Campbell of Kilmory, and remained in the Campbell family for over 250 years. A house may have stood here as early as the 14th century. The Campbells built a house, or extended the existing one, in 1816-20. Eliza Campbell, the eldest daughter and co-heir of Peter Campbell, married Sir John Orde, 2nd Baronet in 1824. He purchased the estates following the death of his father in law in 1828 and of his wife in 1829. Orde demolished the modest old Campbell house and replaced it with a grand Gothic style mansion designed by architect Joseph Gordon Davis. The core of the older house was retained, but was extended into an L-plan, with new exterior and interior decoration, and a large octagonal tower at the south-west corner. Orde also greatly expanded and improved the grounds and estate, engaging William Hooker to extend the gardens in 1830. Further extensions were carried out in the 1860s.
Orde was buried in the private burial ground adjacent to the house in 1878. His son succeeded to the baronetcy, and changed his name to Campbell-Orde in 1880. The Campbell-Orde baronets retained the estate until 1938. It passed through several owners thereafter, and served variously as a hotel, hostel and conference centre.
In 1974, Argyll County Council purchased the house to serve as a headquarters for Argyll and Bute District Council, which was formed in 1975. In 1995 local government was reorganised again, although Kilmory remained in use as the headquarters of the new Argyll and Bute unitary authority. An office block extension was built onto the house in 1980-82, to increase the provision of space. Fire damaged the main house the following year, and many interiors had to be refurbished.References:
Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".