Argyll & Dunbartonshire, Scotland
This is NOT an official Lego site
Castle sits on a windswept ridge above the Kilmartin
Valley, unlooking Loch Awe. It is as important Scottish
castle of the late 16th century in that it highlights the
fusion of the medieval donjon [keep] and the great hall
into an integrated layout. The basement rooms are vaulted
and include the kitchen, wine cellar, storage rooms and
the well room in the donjon. The first floor contains a
long hall and private chamber in the keep. The style of
carving is of a quality indicating an obvious renaissance
in design which presumably carried over to other features
including tapestries, painted ceilings, etc. It was a
truly beautiful castle for its day, but the builder had
served as chaplain for King James V at Stirling and may
have been inspired by the work of the king's masons. The
upper stories contained bedrooms for the Lord or Bishop,
family, guests and possibly a small garrison.
was built by John Carswell, an gentleman so tall and bent
that he was known as "The Heron". Acquiring
Carnasserie estate in a charter sale from Archibald Earl
of Argyll in 1559, he attempted to avoid civil war by
continuing dialogue with both the Roman Catholic Mary
Queen of Scots and the protestant Lords of the
Congregation. A Gaelic scholar, he translated John Knox'
"Book of Common Order" into Gaelic and had it
published in 1567 - the first book ever published in the
Gaelic language! He died in 1572 after two marriages, two
children and precious little time to enjoy his just
completed castle. Carswell was made Bishop of the Isles
in 1566 by Mary Queen of Scots. His daughter Christian
first married Dougall Campbell of Inverawe, but later
married Bishop Neill Campbell, Carswell's successor at
hereditary Earl of Argyll sold Carnasserie in 1643 to
another Dougall Campbell (of Auchinbreck). He enjoyed the
palatial splendor until 1685 when Carnasserie was blown
up by Lachlan Maclean and his Royalist forces in
retaliation for Campbell's support of the Monmouth
Rebellion against King James VII. The ruins passed on to
the Campbells of Kilmartin, but in 1820 the family was
forced to sell their estates including Carnasserie to
their neighbors, the Malcolms of Poltalloch. The castle
was never repaired and eventually Historic Scotland
became custodian of the ruin. The castle is open to the
of the Lego Model
Under construction March-April, 2009
|The layout from the east.||The open sides from the west.||East view of cellar level.||West view with cellar and kitchen vaults.|
view of the Great
Hall with tapestries, pictures.
of the Great Hall
and the cellars are filling.
to take shape.
of the Lego Model
Built March-April, 2009
from the northeast,
especially the old tower.
the stair tower is
highlights the spiral
the interior has proven an
insurmountable problem: here are the
kitchen [left] and cellars.
interior without flash.
with lots of glare from
the flash, but better
bedrooms and garret.
[I plan to rephotograph the
castle at some point!]
Other Carnasserie Castle pages:
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Page designed & maintained by Robert Carney