Castle Stalker, Argyll, United Kingdom (with Map & Photos)

Tower House on a tidal islet in Loch Laich, Argyll, Scotland, Castle Stalker (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal an Stalcaire ) is a four-story tower house or is picturesquely preserved on a tidal islet in Loch Laich, an inlet to Loch Linnhe. It is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northeast of Port Appin, Argyll, Scotland, and is visible from the A828 road midway between Oban and Glen Coe. The islet is accessible (with difficulty) from the shore at low tide.

Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker

The name "Stalker" comes from the Gaelic Stalcaire, which means "hunter" or "falconer". The island castle is one of the best preserved medieval towers to survive in the west of Scotland and is a Category A listed building. It is located in the Lynn of Lorn National Scenic Area, In recent times, the castle was brought to fame by Monty Python's team, featured in their movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

History


The original castle was a small fort, built around 1320 by the MacDougall clan, who were then lords of Lorn. Around 1388 the Stewarts took over the Lorn manor, and it is believed that they built the castle in its present form around the 1440s. The relative of King Stewart James IV of Scotland visited the castle, and a drunken bet around 1620 resulted in the castle passing to Clan Campbell. After the castle changed hands between these clans a couple of times, the Campbells finally abandoned it around 1840 when it lost its roof. In 1908, the castle was bought by Charles Stewart de Achara, who carried out basic conservation work. In 1965, Lieutenant Colonel DR Stewart Allward acquired the castle and completely restored it for about ten years.

Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker

For the 2011 census, the island on which the castle is located was classified by the Scottish National Registries as an inhabited island that "had no usual residents at the time of the 2001 or 2011 censuses".

View of Loch Laich and Castle Stalker with Ardnamurchan Mountains in the background.

In popular culture


While most of the castle scenes in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) were filmed in and around Doune Castle, Castle Stalker appears in the final scene as "The Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh". The castle is first seen from a distance; then a French castle guard (John Cleese) taunts King Arthur (Graham Chapman) with a French accent from his battlements; finally, a massive attack is launched on the castle, after which the police officers who were investigating the death of a historian earlier in the film arrive and are in the process of arresting Arthur and the other knights for killing him when an officer places your hand the camera lens and finishes the images on the film.

Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker

The castle also appears briefly in the movie Highlander: Endgame.

Castle Stalker is the inspiration for "Castle Keep" in the children's book The Boggart.