It’s a pleasure to welcome one of my fellow Queens of Medieval Romance, the highly acclaimed Amy Jarecki. She travels back in time to give us a tour of Scotland’s Kilchurn Castle.
Great to be here, Anna.
One of the most photographed castles in Scotland is Kilchurn at the northern end of Loch Awe. In 1432, Colin Campbell, the 1st Lord of Glenorchy was granted fertile lands at the northern end of Loch Awe, in the shadow of the great mountain, Ben Cruachan. Though the record books show the original keep as being built by Colin Campbell, the 1st Lord of Glenorchy, it is more than likely that his wife, Margaret oversaw the construction of the tower house, completed by 1449. Colin spent three turns in The Crusades fighting with the Knights Hospitallers, and was stationed in Rhodes when his wife finished the keep.
As with most great castles, Kilchurn was added to as the years progressed. Initially, the castle comprised a five-story tower-house at the northeast corner of an irregular-shaped courtyard. The tower house still stands, presiding over the rest of the complex. Upon entering through the main gate, to the left you will find a cellar and prison. The great hall occupies the first floor with a honeycomb of private chambers above.
Colin, the 6th Lord of Glenorchy, added the four fine angle-turrets on the top of the tower house. But this was a time of great expansion for this powerful sect of the Campbells, and the 6th Lord also built a new castle, Balloch (now Taymouth) in Perthshire in the sixteenth century. At this time, Kilchurn became a lesser holding to the Glenorchy Campbells with their main residence on Loch Tay.
After the overthrow of the Stuart dynasty in 1689, Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Earl of Breadalbane, retired to his ancestral lands at Kilchurn Castle. There, it took him ten years to convert the castle into a military stronghold. The old tower house was converted into accommodation for the officers commanding a garrison of 200 men. In addition, barracks were erected along the north side of the courtyard. The barrack block still stands relatively complete, and is the oldest surviving barracks on the British mainland, and served as an outpost for government soldiers during the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745.
Highland Dynasty Series Set at Kilchurn:
The four-book Highland Dynasty series is set in the glory of Kilchurn Castle with book one, KNIGHT IN HIGHLAND ARMOR, being about Colin Campbell, 1st of Glenorchy and Margaret Robinson of Struan. Based on legend, it follows their romance and difficulty while he is called away to serve a third term in The Crusades.
Book Two, A HIGHLAND KNIGHT’S DESIRE was released on March 3rd, and in dynastic tradition, follows on with the family’s story. Duncan Campbell rescues pious Meg Douglas from the clutches of the Earl of Northumberland. Somehow, I don’t think the lady will ever become a nun.
A HIGHLAND KNIGHT TO REMEMBER and HIGHLAND KNIGHT OF RAPTURE follow in this series, building upon the Highland Dynasty.
I’d love it if you would join me for the ride!
See all Amy’s books on her Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Jarecki/e/B0061VIGDK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1