10 facts everyone should know about Dunollie Castle

Chances are, you’ve glimpsed Dunollie Castle countless times, but do you really know about its fascinating history?

To be honest, I’m ashamed to admit my understanding of the fortress was limited to it being the oldest building in Oban – and I only stumbled upon this nugget of knowledge during a quiz right here on our website.

However, thanks to the dedicated team at Dunollie Museum, Castle, and Grounds, we’re about to unveil ten facts about this medieval marvel.

Here we go…


Dunollie Castle is the ancestral home of the Clan MacDougall. At the height of their power in the 13th century, they built another 13 castles in the region – including, but not limited to Dunstaffanage Castle, Duart Castle, and Coeffin Castle.


Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds is a social enterprise run by a charitable trust (the DPT) all proceeds from tickets, events, shop, and café sales go straight back into the site’s preservation development.


Dunollie’s Castle ruins as we can see them now were built in the 13th and 14th century, but, there is written evidence of fortifications standing there at least since the 6th century.


Dunollie’s Grounds are home to a giant sequoia tree, which is almost 200 years old.


The 1745 House, which is now the museum building, was built using stones from the castle.


You can get married with Dunollie Castle as your stunning backdrop. The team at Dunollie can also help you organise the perfect proposal, or vow renewal.


On a clear day from Dunollie Castle you can see Oban Bay, but also, the Hutchinson Monument on the Isle of Kerrera, Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull, and the Lismore Lighthouse. 


Dunollie’s museum is home to a Jacobite targe and broadsword dating to the 1715 uprising which remained hidden here for centuries to avoid further persecution.


Dunollie is home to a large highland social history collection with over 10,000 items. These were collected over the course of the 20th century by a woman local to Oban, Hope MacDougall.


Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds is open to visitors Sunday-Friday from April until October but also hosts a variety of events for adults and children alike all-through the winter months.

So, the next time you are visiting Dunollie, don’t be afraid to show off your newly found knowledge.

Oh, and if you’d like to share your photos from your trip to Oban, you can join 11,000 other people in our dedicated Facebook group.

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