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Copyright ©1999-2006
C.Garner and P.Wright

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Fincharn Castle

July 22, 1999
South shore of Loch Awe, Argyll
Map Ref: NM 898 043

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[Argyll Region]

Our reference books aren't quite in agreement about Fincharn. Mike Salter in his book, "The Castles of Western & Northern Scotland", refers to Fincharn as "the ruins of a 13th century hall-house". However, Martin Coventry's, "Castles of Scotland", calls the existing structure a 16th century tower house and refers to an earlier structure in the same location dating back to the early 14th century. From 1308 forward both authors cite mostly identical histories for Fincharn.

In 1308 the MacDougalls held a castle at this location for the English king Edward I called Glassery. In the 1370s it became the property of the Scrymgeour family and remained so until 1668. Coventry writes that the castle passed back into the hands of the MacDougalls but doesn't give a date.

Salter writes that the lands were granted to Gillascop MacGilcrist by Alexander II in 1240 and suggests that a castle may have been built there soon after. A Glasrog castle was captured from the Stewards in 1297 and it may also refer to Fincharn or an earlier incarnation.

As can be seen from the photos Fincharn is ruinous with a few wall sections still standing. It stands on a rocky promentory on the very edge of Loch Awe. What appears to be the remains of a walled courtyard lies on the south side. This contradicts the Salter book which places it on the north but as that would be in the loch we are assuming it is a typo.

The tower house appears to have been two stories in height and was roughly rectangular being approximately 25' x 50'. The walls varied from four to seven feet thick.

The north section of the east wall has two surviving gun loops with one at each level.

Top: View from the south.
Middle: View from inside looking south.
Bottom: Inside looking northeast.