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history

History and Archaeology

There is much tangible evidence of the past in the area surrounding Loch Melfort Hotel. Whether you choose to walk by one of the many deserted hill tracks or half forgotten paths, or if you prefer touring by car, there is much to discover.

Archaeology

Stone circle in Kilmartin Glen.

Stone circle in Kilmartin Glen.

Of particular note are the imposing remains of the Iron Age fort at Dunadd, just outside the nearby village of Kilmartin. This was the capital for the kings of Dalriada, and to this day bears the mark in stone of a footprint used in their coronations. In the village itself is Kilmartin House Museum, with ‘hands on’ activities for children. Nearby Kilmartin Glen is an archaeologist’s dream. Home to more than 350 megalithic stone circles, chambered cairns, and other monuments, you can either explore them yourself or visit the museum for a more informed investigation.

Castles

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle.

Scotland is famous for its castles and the area around the Loch Melfort Hotel has many varied kinds. For example, the enigmatic Castle Stalker set on its own small island, the imposing Dunstaffnage Castle (Home of Clan Campbell), and Dunollie Castle in Oban with its stunning sea views, are all ruined but can be visited and explored at leisure.

To see what these ruins may have looked like in their prime, visit nearby castles that are in much better condition. To the south of the hotel, Inveraray Castle is a magnificent old castle in wonderful condition. Its design features impressive conical spires and castellated towers, while inside are displays of armour, weapons, tapestries and relics chronicling the castle’s place in Scottish history.

Duart Castle on Mull, ancestral home of the Clan Maclean

Duart Castle on Mull, ancestral home of the Clan Maclean.

Duart Castle on Mull is set on a dramatic promontory overlooking the Sound of Mull. Here, visitors can learn about the Clan McLean, explore the dungeons and state rooms and strategic clifftop position. Further round the island is Torosay Castle which is reached by either a woodland walk or narrow gauge steam railway. This family visitor attraction has lush gardens complete with terraces, gazebos, statues, water and walled gardens, while inside are displays of red deer antlers, artwork and the Guthrie family history.

Crinan Canal

Moving south from the Loch Melfort Hotel, the Crinan Canal stretches from Adrishaig on Loch Fyne and comes out nine miles away at Crinan on the banks of the Sound of Jura. Whether travelling by boat or on the footpath, traversing its length is a peaceful and relaxing trip, culminating in the famous basin at Crinan, where local fishermen land prawns, crabs and lobsters.

Easdale Island Folk Museum

Learn about the hard life of 18th century slate quarrymen at the Easdale Island Folk Museum, just 5 miles from the hotel. This quaint museum has authentic displays of the cottage life of the workers as well as the historical interest of the island itself including a friendly genealogy service.

Oban War & Peace Museum

Oban’s historical and cultural history is celebrated in the Oban War and Peace Museum. The town was of strategic importance during World War II and the museum displays photos and exhibits of the flying boat bases at Kerrera and Ganavan. Visitors can also learn about the area’s fishing and maritime industries, transport links, the building of McCaig’s Tower and shinty.

Auchindrain Township

Auchindrain gives visitors a fascinating and authentic insight into how people lived, worked and played in the old Highlands. Recognised worldwide as the last and most complete example of a Highland farm township, where a group of families worked the land in common. Agricultural improvements in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Highland Clearances and the development of crofting changed farming, families and the face of the Highlands forever, but Auchindrain carried on much as before, just slowly evolving. Here you have a unique opportunity to see life as it was.

Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre

 When this innovative, eco friendly building at Aonad Naomh Moluag (the gathering place of St Moluag)  was opened on 17 March 2007 it  once more put the Gaelic language and culture at the heart of Lismore, resulting in the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre. After 13 years of hard work, members of the  Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mor  broke the silence that had been imposed on the island’s culture when English became the language of advancement and the Gaelic language and culture were encouraged to die.

For details of how to get to any of these places of historical interest please ask at reception during your stay  or call us on 0843 886 0233.