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Inveraray Castle
Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland, United Kingdom
Inveraray Castle - south-west facade.jpg
Inveraray Castle in 2014
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Coordinates 56°14′15″N 5°04′25″W / 56.2374808°N 5.0735762°W / 56.2374808; -5.0735762
Site information
Open to
the public
Site history
Materials Stone
Listed Building – Category A
Designated 20 July 1971
Reference no. LB11552

Inveraray Castle (pronounced INVƏ-rehri; Scottish Gaelic Caisteal Inbhir Aora) is a country house near Inveraray in the county of Argyll, in western Scotland, on the shore of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest sea loch. It is one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture.

It has been the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, chiefs of Clan Campbell, since the 18th century.

History and architecture

The present castle was built in the Gothic Revival style. Work on it began in 1743. This castle replaced an earlier 15th-century castle. The foundation stone was laid in October 1746. These dates makes it one of the earliest Gothic Revival buildings, together with Strawberry Hill House. Originally, all the roofs were flat and crenellated. Later, a third floor with pitched roof and dormer windows was added on all four wings and steep conical roofs were added on top of the four round towers. The village of Inveraray was moved in the 1770s to give the castle a more secluded setting.

Designers who worked on the house include William Adam and Roger Morris; the interior includes a number of neoclassical rooms created for the 5th Duke by Robert Mylne. These are among the rooms open to the public. James Lees-Milne was not impressed by the house when he visited it in 1943, noting the "ugly" grey stone and calling it "grim and forbidding".

In 1975 a devastating fire struck Inveraray and for some time the 12th Duke and his family lived in the castle's basement, while restorations requiring a worldwide fundraising drive were carried out.

Modern era

The castle is open to visitors. Its collection includes more than 1,300 pikes, muskets, swords and other weapons.

The 13th Duke and his family live in private apartments occupying two floors and set between two of the four crenellated circular towers. Recent renovations included the installation of the house's first central heating, powered by burning wood-chips from the family's forestry holdings.

Inveraray Castle is a Category A listed building. It is surrounded by a 16-acre (6.5 ha) garden and an estate of 60,000 acres (240 km2). Besides welcoming visitors to the castle, the estate's activities include commercial forestry, tenanted farming, wind and hydro power, and deer hunting.


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