Dunollie Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Ollaigh) is a small ruin located on a hill north of the town of Oban, on the west coast Scotland. It commands a view of the town, harbour, and outlying isles. The ruin is accessible by a short, steep path. There is no entrance fee, there is a small layby at the foot of the hill. With enough space to park two cars, care must be taken because the layby is on a busy road.
There was a fortification on this high promontory in the days of the kingdom of Dál Riata which was the royal centre of the Cenél Loairn.
The MacDougalls, the Lords of Lorne, were direct descendants of Somerled, Lord of the Isles, at a time when the Western Isles were part of Norway. Dougall, Somerled’s son, held most of Argyll and also the islands of Mull, Lismore, Jura, Tiree, Coll and many others in the 12th century.
The Marquis of Argyll captured the castle in 1644, but it was returned to the MacDougalls in 1661. In 1746, the MacDougalls abandoned Dunollie Castle and built Dunollie House just downhill from the castle ruins.
In recent years, descendants and members of Clan MacDougall have been encouraged by clan leadership to support local tourism and pay visits to Dunollie, as an ancestral site and important cultural location.
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