Clan Campbell

  • Clan Territory:

    The main Campbell territories are in Argyll, but Campbell lands are scattered across Angus, Ayrshire, Moray, Perthshire and even stretches into Northumberland.
  • Clan Chief:

    Torquhil Ian Campbell, became the 13th Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell in 2001.
  • Clan Castles:

    Inveraray CastleThe main seat of Clan Campbell is Inveraray Castle, on the shores of Loch Fyne. More a grand Georgian mansion than a traditional Scottish castle, the initial design was made in 1720 by Sir John Vanburgh, who designed Blenheim Palace. Work began in 1746 and was initially supervised by William Adam, Scotland’s “Universal Architect” and later by other members of the Adam architectural dynasty. The castle stands on the site of the original village of Inveraray, which was demolished and rebuilt a mile away, to give the castle a grander outlook. Many castles across Scotland are associated with Clan Campbell. Until 1654, the Campbell seat was Castle Campbell or Castle Gloom, which stands above Dollar in Clackmannanshire and many other castles across Scotland have Campbell connections.

    Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Argyll
    Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Argyll

    Kilchurn Castle in Argyll originally belonged to Clan MacDougall but became the seat of the Campbell of Glenorchy and Breadalbane branch of the clan. Taymouth Castle at Kenmore by the head of Loch Tay, Edinample Castle and Finlarig Castle also belonged to the Breadalbane Campbells. Cawdor Castle near Inverness is best known for its association with Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Though he was Thane of Cawdor the castle was built centuries after Macbeth ruled Scotland.

    Cawdor Castle

    Cawdor is a tower house and is the seat of the Campbells of Cawdor. The castle stands on the fertile lands of the Moray Firth and it’s said the Lord of Cawdor chose the site by setting loose a donkey laden with gold and chosing the spot where the donkey stopped. The hawthorn tree where the donkey rested is in the castle vaults.
  • Clan Tartans:

    There are four Campbell tartans all, like many clan tartans, based on the Black Watch tartan. When General Wade formed the first Highland regiment at Aberfeldy in 1725, there were six Independent companies, three from Clan Campbell, one from Clan Fraser, one from Clan Munro and one from Clan Grant. Known as the 42nd Regiment of Foot, the companies were amalgamated into a single regiment in 1739 and this regiment became known as the Black Watch.
  • Clan Details:

    The clan plant badge is the bog myrtle, which in Scotland is also used as a midge repellant. The Campbell war cry is Cruachan, which comes from the 3,694ft (1,126m) Munro Ben Cruachan on the north short of Loch Awe. A Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet and the name Cruachan comes from the Gaelic, meaning the mountain of peaks.
    The clan tune is The Campbells Are Coming, which was supposedly composed about the Jacobite uprising of 1715. In Gaelic, the tune is called Baile Ionaraora
  • Clan History:

    Campbell of Argyll
    Illustration by R.R. Maclan

    By the end of the 13th century when one of the earliest attested Campbell chiefs Cailean Mór had settled around Loch Awe, Clan MacDougall and their MacDonald kinsmen were the main force on Scotland's western seaboard. Their huge fleet of galleys commanded the seas while the MacDougall castles of Dunollie and Dunstaffnage controlled the land.

    Cailean Mor had been gradually pushing his boundaries farther west, but the MacDougalls decided to settle matters once and for all. A cairn high up in the hills above Loch Awe marks the spot where they met at a place that became known as the Red Ford, because the burn is said to have run with blood. The cairn marks the spot where Cailean Mor was killed. But His fame was such that Clan Campbell chieftans, the Dukes of Argyll, claimed descent from him, and to this day style themselves Mac Cailein Mór, son of Colin the Great.

    The story of the Campbell origins, their victory over the MacDougalls, their fight for Scottish independence at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the story of the clan’s rise to prominence and the first and only Marquis of Argyll’s battles with Alasdair MacColla and the clan’s centuries long battle with Clan Donald are compellingly told in the Galloglas DVD, Clan Campbell. Filmed on location to the highest standards Clan Campbell features the can’s unique story and is a must for every Campbell to own. (Coming Soon)

  • And finally:

    According to Celtic folklore, winter is ruled by a one-eyed hag called Mag Moullach who lives on Ben Nevis and formed the Hebrides by throwing rocks into the sea. She grazed her cow on Ben Cruachan and gave it water from a magic well, which, if left uncovered, would flood the world.
    One day Mag Moullach fell asleep on the hillside and was wakened by the roar of gushing water. And though she tried to cover the well she couldn’t find the slab in the moonlight. By the time the well was covered the glen below Ben Cruachan had become Loch Awe.

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