23 August 2018
Carnasserie Castle was in its day one of Argyll’s finest Renaissance mansions. The five-storey tower with adjoining three-storey hall was built in the 1560s by John Carswell (c 1522 – 1572), first Protestant Bishop of the Isles (1565 – 1572). The property was entrusted to Carswell by his patron Archibald Campbell (1537 – 1573), 5th Earl of Argyll. Carswell’s main legacy was his publication in Edinburgh in 1567 of the first book ever printed in Gaelic (Irish or Scottish) – this was a translation of John Knox’s Book of Common Order.
The castle was badly damaged in 1685 by Royalist forces in an uprising by Archibald Campbell (c 1629 – 1685), 9th Earl of Aryll, against James VII, in which Campbell was captured and executed. The castle thereafter lay disused and was purchased in the 19th century by the Malcolms of Poltalloch. Today it is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.