Going back through photos and searching out the ones relevant to the book project I couldn’t help but linger over the images of Aros Castle – or what’s left of this 13th century MacDonald stronghold. Like many of the other old sites visited, this one had a ghostly feel to it. The old walls were beautiful in their decay and covered in vegetation that seemed to want to hide them from the world so as not to disturb their history. Climbing around the hill upon which the castle sits brought to life what it must have been like during the time of the Lords of the Isles. Ignoring the fact that there were houses and a roadway all within shouting distance from the ancient ruin you could lose yourself in the presence of the past.
It is believed the castle was originally built by one of the MacDougall Lords of Lorn and became the major stronghold of the Lords of the Isles. It is defended on the seaward side by low cliffs, and originally by a ditch on the inland side. It commanded a strong defensive position commanding this important stretch of the Sound of Mull. Today it is left up to us to keep its story alive and forever woven into the fabric of the Kingdom of the Isles.