Castle of the Day
Gylen Castle, Kerrera, Argyll
Gylen Castle was built in 1587 by Duncan MacDougall of Dunollie, the 16th chief, on the site of an earlier fortification. Due to the absence of a water supply inside the castle the MacDougall defenders had to surrender to a detachment of the Covenanter army of General David Leslie after the water supply outside of the castle was captured in 1647. The castle was then looted and burned and the Brooch of Lorn was stolen from the castle only to be returned to the Chief of the MacDougalls in 1824. The castle, which can look formidable on a gloomy day poised above the steep and rocky coastline, has an interesting passage underneath it. Carved heads can still be seen on the walls and an inscription which may have read “trust in God and sin no more”. The famous artist JWM Turner visited Kerrera in 1831, and was so taken by the island and castle that he filled 25 pages of his sketchbook with drawings of the castle.