Mingary Castle, a medieval castle, is strategically located on a high rocky promontory approximately 2km south east of the village of Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Mingary Castle is constructed of rubble and dressed stone and is surrounded by sea on three sides, whilst the landward access was originally defended by a drawbridge and rock-cut ditch, (the latter 7.5 metres wide and 3 metres high).
The defensive curtain wall of castle is shaped into an irregular hexagon small lancet window, ranging in height from 8.5 metres to 14 metres, with an enclosed a courtyard and three inner buildings. Sections of the landward curtain wall are highest and widest with main entrances in the north-west and south. A battlement parapet was accessed by an external stair (forestair) in the northwest corner.
The main part of the castle dates from the 13th century, with some alteration in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the addition of a sea-gate in the south curtain wall, refortification of the crenellated parapet defences and the construction of two corbelled bartizans. The 18th century witnessed the expansion of the inner architecture, with the addition of a four-storey building (a barrack block with garderobes and a vaulted (mural) chamber), replacing the inner hall on the northside; a two storey building (enclosing a kitchen) on the south west corner; and a one-storey building in south east corner. The architecture and design of Mingary Castle is thought to bear some resemblance to the nearby Castle Tioram at Dorlin in Moidart.
Mingary Castle served as the former stronghold of the MacIains of Ardnamurchan. It has been besieged on a number of occasions and variously occupied by James IV, Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, the Clan MacLean of Dunart, Earl of Argyll and Clan Campbell. The Castle eventually ended up in the possession of James Riddell, who acquired Mingary Castle in the late 18th century; the Castle was abandoned in the mid 19th century.
Until recently Mingary Castle stood as a sombre testament to warfare and the changing fortunes and prominence of the Highland Clans. It is currently being renovated and restored to it's original grandeur by The Mingary Castle Trust. Please see the informtion links for further information.