A Haunting in Dunstaffnage: Official Post 5

I am going to tell you a little bit about my castle, Dunstaffnage Castle. Dunstaffnage
Castle is a ruined castle that is surrounded on three sides by the sea. Dunstaffnage Castle is located in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. The castle itself is around three miles away from Oban. Dunstaffnage Castle dates back to the 13th Century, making it one of the oldest stone castles located in Scotland. Because it is made from stone and surrounded on three sides by the sea, it is a very fortified castle that is strategically located. The stone that the castle was made out of was mostly local stone and sandstone from the surrounding area as well. The castle was founded and controlled by the MacDougall Clan and was held for many years. The castle served from the 13th Century to the 19th Century and is still in particularly good condition. Even though the castle is partially ruined it is still open to the public. It now belongs to the Scottish Crown, and serves as a key tourist site of historic Scotland. Dunstaffnage is an odd quadrangular shape and has three round towers on three of its corners. The walls reach up to 60 feet high. This was very advantageous for defense because the walls were also three feet thick making it hard for an enemy siege to take the castle. Because of its strategic location and strong defense it made a great asset when trying to guard the entrance of Loch Etive. The three towers were not built with the castle, in fact they were built soon after the construction of the walls. The towers were about four stories high and were often where the room of the lords were held. There is a gatehouse in the castle that was built late in the 15th Century. It was later refurbished to match the style of the eighteen hundreds to house guests. The gatehouse is four stories and has a look that is not similar to the castle. Outside of the castle walls remains a private chapel that was built by the MacDougall’s. It is popular for its interesting stone work and is home to a burial site where captains of the castle were buried with their families. The castle is also famous for a ghost that haunts the castle. It is said that a ghost named the “Ell-Maid of Dunstaffnage” haunts the castle and its appearances can be associated with the lives of the keepers. The ghost is said to be a “brownie” which is a household spirit. According to folklore a brownie is small, has wrinkled visage, has curly brown hair, and wears a brown hood. On our tour we will explore the wonders of such an interesting place. We will explore the gatehouse, look up at the towering walls, see the strategic location of the castle on the edge of the loch, and if we are lucky enough we may even come across a small ghost that remains attached to the castle forever.

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