Clan MacDougall and associated castles near Oban, Scotland

(Above image is a capture of Dunollie Castle taken from ferry in Oban harbour.)

This evening, I am posting information on Clan MacDougall.

The MacDougalls are long associated with the Lorne region of West Scotland, now part of Argyll.

There exist two tangible connections with the MacDougalls in the form of two castles: Dunstaffnage (below) and Dunollie (above). These ruins are in relatively close proximity to each other, on the mainland shore of Loch Linnhe, near Oban, about 100 miles N.W. of Glasgow. Dunollie remains under MacDougall ownership today.

Dunstaffnage Bay, Loch Linnhe

The MacDougall clan dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries and to Dougall, the son of Somerled who became the senior king in old Dalriada in 1164. This line is ultimately of Gaelic-Norwegian descent.

During medieval times the MacDougalls were embroiled in various power struggles. Having sided with the Comyns against Robert the Bruce they lost their island power base in the west but a strategic marriage with Robert the Bruce’s grand-daughter resulted in a MacDougall chief being awarded the mainland lordship of Lorne in 1344.

Absence of male heirs resulted in the chiefship transferring to the House of Stewart by 1388 and then to descendants of the 4th Chief’s brother which supported King Robert I in return for which was awarded custody of Dunollie Castle. The hoped for recovery of Lorne lands from the Campbells did not eventuate and the MacDougalls were further weakened by their support of the (failed) 1715 Jacobite uprising.

The current chief of the clan is Morag Morley MacDougall of MacDougall and Dunollie. She is a daughter of the sister of the previous clan chief, Coline Helen Elizabeth MacDougall of MacDougall and Dunollie.

Dunstaffnage Castle, near Oban.



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