I've lost count of how many times I've seen Ardtornish Castle from the sea. The first time was in the early 90s when I took the ferry from Oban to Barra. Over the following 16 years I must of sailed by it at least a dozen times, always wanting to get ashore to see it close up.
This historic castle dates to the 13th century. It was a principal stronghold of the Lords of the Isles until the late 1400s, and Sir Walter Scott placed the opening scene of The Lord of the Isles in the castle's hall. Although it is easy to visit the castle from the mainland (by driving to Lochaline), over many years of island going I never found myself in that part of the mainland, and so I had to settle for seeing the castle from the sea for about 15 years.
Then, in 2006 while on a cruise aboard MV Chalice, we anchored for the last night of the cruise in Ardtornish Bay. We went ashore to wander a bit, and to see the castle. The castle ruin was extensively 'fixed up' in the early 1900s, when its most notable characteristic when seen from the sea was added (a large arched window). Here are a few photos of the castle from that visit in 2006. For more on Ardtornish see this RCAHMS link.
|Approaching the castle from the mainland|
|The remaining south wall seen from where the hall may have been|
|Landing place below the castle|
|Looking up from the landing|
|The 'add-on' window|
|Departure time - Innibeg (aka Bay House) in the distance|