Achadun Castle

Achadun Castle Details

Achadun Castle, ruins of a C13 courtyard castle of the MacDougalls later held by the Bishops of Argyll, before moving to Saddell Castle

  • Closest To: Achnacroish
  • Access: S.O.A.C. Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NM804393

The ruins of Achadun Castle occupy a craggy site on the north-west facing side of the island of Lismore. Believed to date from the 13th century, it was a property held by the Bishops of Argyll, who were also known as the Bishops of Lismore. The bishopric was created in 1200 when the old diocese of Dunkeld was split in two, and at least two of the early bishops were members of the regionally powerful MacDougall family. Lismore was within the MacDougall sphere of influence, and it is quite possible that the castle was in fact an existing MacDougall fortified manor when it was granted to the diocese.

There were regular vacancies between bishops in which it is likely that the crown, Macdonald and Campbell families looked after Achadun. In the end, though, conflict within the Lordship of the Isles led to the bishop moving out of his diocese in 1462. Eventually Lismore proved to be too remote for a prince of the church to operate from, and Bishop Hamilton chose to build a new castle at Saddell from the masonry of the abandoned abbey there – it seems very likely that Achadun was abandoned at about this time. What remains today is the squarish footprint of a two storey hall with accompanying courtyard, none of which extends above about two metres high.

There is limited vehicular access to Lismore on a general level, and to get to Achadun is a 15-20 minute walk, but its a lovely area!

HES Canmore database entry