History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The MacSweens had to surrender Skipness when the Norwegian force under Hakon was defeated at the Battle of Largs in 1263. Castle Skipness then passed to the MacDonalds, who were probably responsible for adding the strong curtain wall with its distinctive crosslet-arrowslits and crenellations. They also added a new chapel a short distance away, linked by a looping trail to the current castle. The new Kilbrannan Chapel enclosed an earlier, redundant chapel dedicated to St Columba. Within the chapel is a small collection of finely carved grave slabs.
In 1493 the MacDonalds lost Skipness to the Campbells, earls of Argyll. It was under the Campbells that an impressive tower house was built in the north east corner of the castle enclosure. But by 1700 Skipness was abandoned, and it has mouldered away for the past three centuries.
The castle is well worth exploring, but please do take the time to stroll to the chapel by the shore. The carved stones (some protected beneath a solid cover) are well worth visiting. The location, looking across the Arran, is simply marvellous.
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About Skipness Castle
Address: B8001, Skipness, Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: On the B8001, on the north east coast of Kintyre. The castle and chapel are open access at any time, while the tower is open only from April to September.
Website: Skipness Castle
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Lochranza Castle - 4.5 miles (Castle)
Coire Fhionn Lochan - 7.2 miles (Countryside)
Tarbert Castle - 7.3 miles (Castle)
Avinagillan Standing Stone - 7.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
North Glen Sannox Waterfall Walk - 8.1 miles (Countryside)
St Ninian's Chapel - 8.2 miles (Historic Church)
St Ninian's Bay Standing Stones - 8.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Clachan Church Grave Slabs - 8.9 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Skipness Castle:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Skipness Castle. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.