Castle Stalker as seen today is original from the 1400s. But before Castle Stalker, the MacDougall Clan, Lords of Lorn, held a small fort on the islet, which is great for defense, in the early 1300s. The MacDougalls lost this title because they were defeated by King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of the Pass of Brander in 1308. They regained the title and lands after 1328 and held it until around 1388 when the Lordship of Lorn passed to the Stewarts along with the site where Castle Stalker sits.
Most sources state that Castle Stalker as seen today was built by Sir John Stewart, Lord of Lorn, in the 1440s. The castle was built by expert stone masons who constructed parts of the walls nine feet thick. They also built a dungeon beneath it and there is still a record of those who were held here.
|Dunstaffnage Castle (where Sir John Stewart was killed.)|
Dugald Stewart became the first Chief of Appin. But he lost the title of Lord of Lorn because of his uncle, Walter Stewart's treachery and plotting with the Lord of Argyll. Walter ended up with the title but with no authority. A battle took place in 1468 across from the castle called the Battle of Stalc in which the Stewarts banded together with the MacLarens and defeated the MacDougalls and MacFarlanes (acting in the interests of Colin Campbell and Walter Stewart.) Dugald himself killed his father's murderer, Alan MacCoul. The MacFarlanes were defeated and never able to fully recover. The outcome of this battle solidified Dugald's claim to Appin. This area was formally granted to him by King James III on April 14th, 1470.
Dugald Stewart was killed in 1497 in a battle or skirmish in which the Stewarts and MacLarens were allied against the MacDonalds of Keppoch. The reason for the conflict was the stealing of cattle. What's interesting is one source says the MacDonalds stole the cattle. Another says the MacLarens stole the cattle from the MacDonalds, but the MacDonalds followed them and once they caught up with them a battle took place. The MacDonalds won and recovered their cattle. But the MacLarens asked Dugald Stewart for assistance. Then, another battle between those clans took place in which both Dugald and the MacDonald chief were killed. Dugald's son, Duncan Stewart, succeeded him as Chief of Appin.
King James IV and V were cousins of the Stewarts of Appin and often traveled to Castle Stalker to hunt. Duncan Stewart led the clan until 1512 when he was murdered by the McLeans. His younger brother Alan succeeded him. He and his five sons fought in the Battle of Flodden and all survived, though the king didn't.
The Stewart clan held Castle Stalker until 1620 when the Campbells of Airds acquired it in a drunken wager by the 7th Stewart Chief, Duncan, in exchange for an eight-oared wherry or beorlin (a rowboat). The Stewarts, under Ardsheal, regained the castle in 1689 when they sided with King James VII (and II) against King William. After their defeat at Dunkeld, Castle Stalker again was to be granted to the Campbells. But the Stewarts refused to give it up. The Campbells lay siege to the castle for several months until the Stewarts were granted an honorable surrender in 1690.
|Tree near Castle Stalker|
I hope to one day take the boat trip over to visit Castle Stalker. That would be a major highlight.
Thanks for taking this little trip to Castle Stalker with me!
Lady Angelique Drummagan, a half-Scottish, half-French countess, has suffered much pain and betrayal in her past. She wants nothing to do with the sensual Scottish warrior that the king has ordered her to marry because the rogue could never be a faithful husband, but she has little choice in the matter. Dangerous, greedy enemies threaten her from all sides and she's in dire need of his protection.
Sir Lachlan MacGrath, known as Seducer of the Highlands, possesses a charming wickedness and canny wit which has earned him much popularity. After the king decrees that he wed the fiery hellion, Lachlan discovers there is one woman who can resist him--Angelique. Can he break through her icy façade and melt her heart, or will the dark secrets lurking in her past not only cost them their future together, but their very lives?