History of the Castle
The castle stands on much older foundations, dating back to the Iron Age when it was the chief placeof the Cenel Lorn and the most northerly of Dal Riata royal sites.
Dunollie became the seat of the Clan MacDougall when Somerled, Lord of the Isles, gifted it to his eldest son Dugall in the 12th century. Dugall became the first chief of one of the most ancient clans in Scotland.
The first five chiefs presided over the golden age of the Clan MacDougall, building eight castles around their large territories on the Argyll mainland and the islands.
The third chief, Alexander, married the sister of John Baliol, who became the King of Scotland. Although this was to be the family’s downfall, through a series of bloody conflicts the Baliol lost their supremacy to Robert the Bruce.
The powerful and battle-hard Clan MacDougall became a particular target for Bruce’s vengeance, loosing most of their lands in 1308.
The castle was forfeited during the first Jacobite Rebellion but then abandoned and robbed of stone to build a new house for the chief in 1745.