Tarbert Castle was a strategic royal stronghold during the Middle Ages and one of three castles at Tarbert. The castle overlooks the harbour and although pre-14th century in construction, the tower dates back to 1494 and the visit of James IV to the Western Highlands.

In 712, Tarbert was burned by King Selbach mac Ferchair of Cenél Loairn and of Dál Riata and in 731 by his son, Dúngal mac Selbaig.

King Edward II of England handed control of the castle to the Scottish King John II de Balliol in 1292. A fortified structure was built in Tarbert during the 13th century. It was reinforced with the addition of an outer bailey and towers in the 1320s by Robert the Bruce, to protect it against the Lords of the Isles. A towerhouse was added in the 16th century, which is the most noticeable part of the remains. The castle occupies high land above the village, providing views up Loch Fyne and beyond to the Firth of Clyde. This castle was captured from John MacDonald of Islay, Lord of the Isles by James IV of Scotland as part of his campaign to destroy the power of the Lords of the Isles in 1494. In 1687 the castle was involved in another skirmish when Walter Campbell of Skipness Castle seized it as a stronghold for Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll as part of actions in support of the Monmouth Rebellion in England.

There are only a couple of standing walls left and they are considered unstable. The castle has a very commanding view of the water approaches.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

gord mor (2 years ago)
Loved it, nice we climb and the reward is the view which is outstanding
Mike Reaves (2 years ago)
Cool old castle dating to the 7th century. The place has well maintained trails and bridges and you can get right up close and look through the arrow slits.
Graeme King (2 years ago)
Definitely not sure about that 1990s house brick used to hold this thing up.
James Burns (3 years ago)
Nice short climb up to amazing views and goats wandering about the castle grounds. A ruin but well kept and information from Historic Environment Scotland.
Verity Megginson (3 years ago)
It is amazing and so peaceful. A man was playing a flute of some sort and it just added to the beautiful atmosphere around us. I 5 star recommend it.
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