Clan Campbell

The Campbell’s originated from Argyle (northwest of Glasgow) where their original seat was either Innischonnel Castle on Loch Awe or Caisteal na Nigheann Ruaidhe on Loch Avich. They acquired lands through time at Craignich, Avaslotnisk, Melfort and Strachur.

The Campbell’s were dominated for many years by the Macdougal Lords of Lorne. One confrontation with the Macdougal’s in 1296 ended with the killing of the Campbell chief Sir Cailen Mor Campbell.

The Campbell backing of Robert the Bruce in his battles to become king of Scotland in the early 1300s gained them wealth and land. Bruce awarded the Campbell’s much of the land in Argyle from those who opposed him including the Macdougal Lords of Lorne. Bruce also arranged the marriage of his sister to Sir Neil Campbell.

The Campbell’s also held the Earldom of Loudoun in Ayrshire, which spawned a host of lairdships there.

The earliest parts of Loudoun Castle east of Kilmarnock/Ayrshire were built for the Craufurds in the 1400s. The castle was extended by the Campbell’s in the 1600s and again by Flora Mure-Campbell in the early 1800s into one of Ayrshire’s most stately homes.

Loudoun Castle image
Cessnock Castle image

The earliest parts of Cessnock Castle east of Kilmarnock/Ayrshire were built by the Campbell’s in the 1400s. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have visited Cessnock Castle after her defeat at the Battle of Langside 1568.

Barr Tower in the centre of the town Galston/Ayrshire was built for the Lockhart’s in the 1400s. The Campbell’s of Cessnock acquired Barr Tower in 1670.

Barr Tower image

The Campbell’s faired badly in the Civil War as the 8th Earl was executed for treason. His son, the 9th Earl, loyal to the protestant religion, was also executed.

The Revolution of 1688 that saw the Protestant William of Orange take the throne saw the Campbell’s titles restored in 1703 with the 10th Earl becoming Duke of Argyll and Marquess of Lorne and Kintyre, with a string of lesser titles.

1826, John Campbell was granted land 150 km north of Sydney/Australia. He named the land after his grandfather’s castle of Cessnock in Ayrshire. The town that grew in that area was also named Cessnock.

Much of the ancestral lands are still in family hands, including the Castles of Inveraray, Dunstaff-nage and Cawdor. The Clan Campbell is now organised as a world-wide association with a permanent base at Inveraray Castle which is still the family home of the thirteenth Duke of Argyll and twenty-seventh chief of the clan.

Castles of Inveraray image

Loudoun Castle was destroyed by fire in 1941. It has remained as an impressive ruin since. Loudoun Estate is now run as a theme park with rides such as roller coasters. Loudoun is still owned to this day by descendants of the Campbell’s.

Cessnock Castle has recently been acquired by a London businessman. It is believed he intends the castle to serve as his future retirement home.

Barr Tower now serves as a Masonic hall.

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