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Inveraray Castle

Accommodation in Scotland > Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle from the air

Inveraray Castle is a remarkable and unique piece of architecture incorporating Baroque, Palladian and Gothic. Featuring four imposing French influenced conical spires surmounting the stone castelated towers, this unmistakably Scottish Castle was the first of its size and type to be built (at the time of construction) in an extremely remote part of Scotland.

Inveraray Castle dining room

The story of the design and construction of the castle began in 1720 with a sketch prepared by Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, for the 2nd Duke of Argyll. Vanbrugh died six years later and the design was sympathetically developed by Roger Morris who saw the start of construction in 1746 and worked with William Adam, then the most distinguished architect in Scotland. It was Adam's sons John and Robert who saw the project to completion for the 5th Duke of Argyll in 1789.

Inveraray Castle - four-poster bedroom

The magnificent Armoury Hall, developed in keeping with Vanbrugh's original sketch dated 1720 and using a similar concept which he used at Castle Howard & Blenheim Palace, soars to 21 metres in height, the highest ceiling in Scotland. Situated in this great hall are breathtaking displays of arms in elaborate patterns that adorn the walls, including 16th and 17th century pole-arms and roundels of Brown Bess muskets dating from around 1740, with spandrels of muskets alternated with Lochaber axes. The latter and 18th century Scottish Broadswords date from the time of Queen Victoria's first visit to Inveraray in 1847.

There is also a fascinating collection of treasures associated with Inveraray Castle, which help illustrate the long and colourful history of the Campbell Clan.

Inveraray Castle - the magnificent Armoury Hall