Lochranza Castle is an L-plan tower house situated on a promontory in the middle of Lochranza, on the North of the Isle of Arran in Scotland. Most of the present castle today was built in the sixteenth century.
The original building dates to the thirteenth century when it was owned by the MacSweens. In 1262, King Alexander III granted the castle and its lands to Walter Stewart, the Earl of Menteith. It is believed that Robert the Bruce landed at Lochranza in 1306 on his return from Ireland to claim the Scottish throne. By 1371, the castle has become the property of Robert II. It is thought that at this time it was used as a royal hunting lodge.
The castle has seen many varied uses over time. During the 1490s, James IV used the castle in his campaign against the Lord of the Isles and his Clan MacDonald. In 1614 it was occupied by James VI and in the 1650s it was used by Cromwell.
By 1705, Lochranza Castle had become the property of the Hamilton family, when it was purchased by the Duchess of Hamilton. The Hamilton family had owned other estates on the Isle of Arran. During the eighteenth century, the castle fell into disuse and disrepair and was abandoned. The castle is now in the care of Historic Scotland.
Lochranza Castle was used as the model for the castle in The Adventures of Tintin comic The Black Island, for the English translation in the 1960s when the drawings were modernised. Bob de Moor, Hergé's chief post-war assistant toured Britain following Tintin's exact footsteps, using various locations to produce a new series of background drawings. The castle appeared in "Dom Joly and the Black Island" on Channel 4 TV on 19 March 2010, however it was portrayed as being Kisimul Castle located on an island in Castlebay harbour on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, after much was made of him reaching Barra and standing in Castlebay looking at Kisimul Castle. The next shots show Dom attempting to reach Lochranza Castle by boat with no mention of him no longer being on Barra.
- http://www.castlekirk.co.uk/lochranza.html Retrieved on June 26, 2007
- http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/arran/lochranza/index.html Retrieved on June 26, 2007
- http://www.darkisle.com/l/lochranza/lochranza.html Retrieved on June 26, 2007
- Thompson, Harry: "TINTIN: Herge & His Creation", page 78. Hodder and Stoughton, 1991.
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