Locales > Scotland
Why You Should Visit Inveraray Castle
It is a picture perfect Scottish status symbol build the Duke of Argyll it is set in a stunning location at the head of Lock Fyne. The 3rd Duke even had a village built to improve the location.
How to get there
The castle is set on the main road the A82. You can approach it from Glasgow with great views or even better approach it from the north on the A82 with even better views.
Who are the Campbells?
The Campbells are a very old clan who have survived rather well over the centuries. They generally supported the English against the catholic clans. Notably they were on the winning side of the battle of Culloden in 1746. So generally they have been successful down the generations . The current Duke is the 13th.
What about the fires?
The castle was first built from 1746 but it burnt down in 1900 and it was rebuilt. I had another go burning it down in 1975. So what you see now it's an impression of a rebuild of the rebuild.
Interestingly the 12th Duke launched an appeal for the cost of the rebuild in 1975 – but when it was revealed that he was worth north of £80 m with 81,000 acres to his name – many benefactors asked for their money back.
We visited Inverary on June the 14th 2018 in the middle of the storm called Hector. Winds over 70mph were lashing Scotland. With danger from falling branches the gardens were closed – and they reduced the entrance price.
The first major room that you come to is the armoury hall. It has elaborate displays of various archaic weapons attached to the walls in geometric splendour. The space is impressive as it rises upward to over 60 feet. Apparently it took over sixteen hundred gallons of the rather pleasant yellow paint to cover it when it was redecorated recently.
In the showcases are a random collection of treasures including the speech of the 1st Marquess of Argyll from the scaffold. He was executed for treason in 1661. His head was displayed on a stake until 1664 when it rejoined his body in his Edinburgh Grave. Ugh
The saloon has the main display of family portraits
This is a Gainsborough portrait of Field Marshall the Rt. Hon Henry Seymour-Conway, son in law of the 4th Duke of Argyll. It was enlarged after it was finished, so it would match the size of the Pompeo Batoni of the 8th Duke of Hamilton, step-son to the 5th Duke at the other end of the room.
The guided notes comment that the family famously switched their allegiance from Charles the Second to Oliver Cromwell and then at the restoration, back to the Monarchy. This kind of politics was what lead to the 1st Marquess being executed so gruesomely
Tapestry Drawing Room
Decorated in the Parisian style and representing the most sophisticated tastes of the 1780s, this room still retains the original set of Beauvais tapestries in the setting specifically designed for them.
The room features the painting of Lady Charlotte Campbell as 'Aurora' that is Goddess of The Dawn by an artist called John Hoppner. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1796 where it was not well reviewed.
The Victorian Room is a tribute to the marriage between HRH Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria and the Marquess of Lorne, who subsequently became the 9th Duke.
The portrait of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll hangs in the room just above the fireplace.
The marriage was beset by rumours including multiple affairs. The rumours suggest that both Louise and the Marquess preferred men. The marriage apparently was saved by the Marquess spending a long period in Canada away from his artistic wife
A brief extract from the 2012 Downton Christmas Special to tie in with my video on Inveraray Castle which is above.