his lonely castle is situated on the island of Kerrera at the south of the island as if guarding the approaches to the Lynn of Lorne. This is truly one of the most attractive of Scotland’s castles. It enjoys spectacular viewover the sea towards the mainland and many of the Inner Hebridean Islands. As with so many of the others its history is turbulent and tragic. Situated at the southern tip of the Island of Kerrera, which is only a short ferry hop from the County’s principal town of Oban.
Built in the early 1580s, this was another stronghold of the MacDougall clan. Known as the “Castle of Fountains” Gylen was strategically placed to control and survey the southern approaches to Oban by the narrow Sound of Kerrera. The island's other claim to fame is that Alexander II died in Horseshoe Bay in 1249 whilst attempting to recover the Hebrides from King Haakon IV of Norway. The castle was besieged and burned by Covenanter General Leslie's in 1647 and was never re-occupied thereafter. The attackers could not breach the castle’s defences but there was no accessible water supply and the castle eventually fell.
It was restored with a £300,000 Historic Scotland grant and £200,000 from clan members around the world. The Historic Scotland grant enabled a specialist architectural team to restore elements of the castle, including its oriel window and its vaulted cellar. As a result, the castle is open to the public freely and, indeed, the Island of Kerrera is well worth exploring.