Artists paintings of clan castles
scottish art

Campbell Clan

Ne obliviscarus

Clan Campbell information
Campbell clan crest
scottish picture of clan Campbell castle at Inveraray
Campbell tartan
Campbell clan map
Clan crest badge
Clan Castle
Campbell tartan
Clan Location
picture of Castle Campbell
Art from Scotland picture of Cawdor castle
picture of taymouth castle
loudoun castle photograph
Castle Campbell
Cawdor Castle
Taymouth Castle
Loudoun Castle
innis chonnel castle
dunstaffnage castle picture
picture of kilchurn castle
dumbarton castle photograph
Innis Chonnel
Dunstaffnage Castle
Kilchurn Castle
Dumbarton Castle
  • Clan Name: Campbell
  • Clan Motto: Ne obliviscarus
  • Clan Chief: Torquhil Ian Campbell
  • Clan Seat: Inveraray Castle, Ardchonnel Castle
  • Castle Location: Argyll, Loch Awe.
  • Clan Lands: Argyll, Cawdor, Loudoun and Breadalbane.
  • Plant Badge: Fir club moss; Bog myrtle
  • Clan Name: Campbell
  • Clan Motto Argyll : Ne obliviscarus - translated - forget not
  • Clan Motto Breadalbane: Follow me
  • Clan Motto Cawdor : Be mindfull
  • Clan Motto Loudoun: I byde my tyme
  • Clan Chief: Torquhil Ian Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll
  • Clan Seat: Inveraray Castle, Argyll ; Ardchonnel Castle, Loch Awe.
  • Clan Lands: Argyll, Angus, Ayrshire, Clackmannan, Nairnshire and Perthshire.
  • Clan links :
  • Clan links :
  • Further reading : Clan Campbell - Wikipedia
  • Further interest: Cursed Mausoleum

Clan History

Clan Campbell is one of the older clans and during many periods in it's history was Scotland's most powerful. In the Crown Charter of 1368 the forefather of the Campbell Lords of Loch Awe is given as Duncan MacDuibhne. Duncan's son Colin was knighted by King Alexander 3rd in 1280. He was killed in 1294 fighting the MacDougall clan and from that day to this the Clan Chief is always referred to as MacCailean Mor ( son of Colin the great ).

Colin's eldest son, Sir Neil Campbell supported Robert The Bruce in freeing Scotland from the English invasion and was rewarded with the lands of the Earl of Atholl. He also married Bruce's sister Mary.
His eldest son, Sir Colin, kept the lands of Loch Awe and Artornish and was also given hereditary governor-ship of Dunoon Castle in Cowal.
Sir Colin's grandson, Sir Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe was knighted in 1445 for his work as Privy Council to James 1st.
The titles go on amassing, as does the acquiring of lands and power. Most obviously earned - the Campbells are famous for their military prowess - but there were also some tragedies caused to those who got in the way.

Sir Duncan's grandson, Colin, was created the Earl of Argyll in 1457. Two hundred years later the 8th Earl and 1st Marquis of Argyll was the leader of the Scottish anti-Royalists cause in the English Civil War - siding with Cromwell. When the monarchy was restored to full power in 1660 King Charles 2nd ( Mary Queen of Scots grandson ) ordered his beheading for treason and other crimes. His son the - now - 9th Earl fled to Holland and returned in 1685 to gather 1500 Campbell clansmen in support of the Duke of Monmouth in his claim to the crown. He was captured at Inchinnan and beheaded in Edinburgh in 1685.
Archibald the 10th Earl managed to restore the families good fortune when he returned with King William of Orange and he was elevated to a Dukedom for his efforts.
John the 2nd Duke of Argyll was created Duke of Greenwich in the peerage of the United Kingdom.
John the 9th Duke, married Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria in 1871.

In the Jacobite uprisings the Campbells, with a few exceptions, were on the side of the British Army and more than any other clan helped defeat the resurrection of a Stuart monarchy.

Inveraray Castle is the current seat of the Chief of Clan Campbell, Dukes of Argyll. The beautiful white walled castle is situated in a Royal Burgh and the blue-green granite it was built from, together with the slated towers that have weathered to a deep green give the castle an unreal fairy-tale look.
In it's present form it dates from 18th century and it is one of the earliest examples of the gothic revival. It was re-planned in 1720 and the alterations were beset with delays taking 70 years to complete. It has twice been damaged by fire in it's life but both times has been sympathetically restored.

Castle Campbell is near Dollar in Clackmannan. On the side of a hill it is hemmed in on both sides by the steep ravines and the burn of Care and the burn of Sorrow it was originally called Castle Gloom. The castle was built in the early 1400's as a Stuart stronghold. It originally came into the family through marriage in 1465. The Campbell's had to petition parliament to change the name.
It has a beautiful outlook down the Forth valley to both the Stirling and Edinburgh directions which gave the Campbells a secure lowland seat near to the heart of the realm.
In the civil war the Marquis (8th Earl) of Argyll originally sided with the King ( Royalist ) but later switched allegiance to Cromwell. Cromwell's forces occupied the castle in 1653, this resulted in Cromwell's troops garrisoning the castle; in retaliation the Scots burned them out in 1654. Seven years later the Marquis was be-headed, by Royal warrant.
The castle was later only partly restored. The clan transferred business to Argyll's Lodgings at Stirling.
In it's time the castle entertained many well known figures including Queen Mary and John Knox. It is now managed by Historic Scotland and is well worth a visit.

Cawdor Castle dominates the village of the same name, just east of Inverness. The central keep dates from 1454 and in early times was surrounded by a deep ditch and drawbridge. There are some older parts dating to 1386.
In the 16th century there was the addition of a curtain wall and more living accommodation. In the 17th century the north and west wings were enlarged and a lot of the decorative carvings date from that era.
The Thanes of Cawdor lived there until 1510 when through the marriage of Muriel Calder to Sir John Campbell, the third son of the 2nd Earl of Argyll, the castle became a Campbell property. This also was the start of a new line The Campbell's of Cawdor.
After the Jacobite uprisings the family left to live on their Welsh estates and the castle was uninhabited for a hundred years which may explain it's extraordinary state of preservation.
The estate is still in the hands of the Campbell Earls of Cawdor.

Taymouth Castle in Perthshire is at the east end of Loch Tay. It was formerly the seat of the Campbell Earls of Breadalbane. The present castle dates back to 1801, it replaced the much older Balloch Castle on the same site which was built in 1550 for Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. The great estates were split and sold after the first world war and the castle has had a few different uses. At present it is back in private ownership.

Loudoun Castle is 5 miles from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire. The castle was the seat of the Campbell Earldom of Loudoun and the hereditary Sheriffs of Ayrshire. At one time it was mentioned as the most imposing castle on the west coast but after a serious fire in 1941 it is now a sad and neglected ruin. The surrounding lands have been converted into a leisure park and golf course.

Ardchonnel Castle is a ruin located on the island of Innis Chonnell in Loch Awe. It's exact beginnings are misted in time but certainly from 1308 it was the Campbell clan seat for 200 years until the seat was transferred to Inveraray.

Carnasserie Castle is 2 miles north-west of Kilmartin. It was built in 1565 by the local minister, later to be known as Bishop of the Isles John Carswell. On his death in 1572 the castle passed to the landlord the Earl of Argyll. In 1643 it was sold to Sir Dugald Campbell Baron of Auchinbreck. As a result of the insurrection supported by the 9th Earl, against King James the 7th, the castle was captured and demolished in 1685. In the 1800's the castle was sold to the Malcolm's and is now owned and looked after by Historic Scotland.

Carrick Castle situated on the west shore of Loch Goil. Built in the 12th century it was captured and destroyed by fire in 1685.

Craignish Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle located 5 miles north of Oban. It was originally a MacDougall castle which Robert the Bruce seized in 1308 when he took his revenge on the clan. Bruce made it a Royal castle and put it in the care of the Campbells. The castle was greatly enlarged in the 15th century on the orders of King Alexander 2nd in preparation for his attack on the Norse Hebrides.
Flora MacDonald was kept prisoner here in 1746 for her part in helping Charles escape.
The castle was ruined by fire in 1810 and has not been used as a residence since.

Dumbarton Castle is on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde. There has been a fortification there since 440-460 A.D. The name Dunbarton derives from "fortress of the Britons".

Kilchurn Castle is at the north-east end of Lock Awe. The castle was built in 1440 by Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy the first Earl of Breadalbane. The Campbells being anti-Jacobite offered the castle as garrison for Hanoverian troops in 1746.

Meggernie Castle is to the north of Loch Tay, two miles west of Taymouth castle (as the crow flies ) or about eight miles by road. Originally taken from the MacGregors and given to his illegitimate son by King David 2nd - a Stewart. It was passed to Duncan Campbell in the beginning of the 17th century.
Nearly ninety years later while under the ownership of the notorious Captain Robert Campbell, of Glencoe fame, it was sold to meet debts.

Skipness Castle


Castle Sween on Loch Sween, Knapdale Argyll. It was probably built around the 12th century and is one of the earliest stone castles in Scotland built in the Norman style with large angled buttresses. The castle was improved through the years keeping up with changes in technology but in 1647 it was destroyed by Sir Alexander MacDonald, one of Montrose's commanders.
It is still a ruin today but is being cared for by the nation.

Cessnock Castle

Kilsyth Castle sits on rocks surrounded on three sides by the Ardoch burn and is 3 miles north of Dunblane. The castle together with it's Barony was bought from the Graham family in 1669 by Sir Colin Campbell of Aberuchill. Originally built in 1460 it has been rebuilt in keeping with the times and the present structure is a small Baronial Mansion dating back to the 1870's. It is the home of Sir James Campbell and earns it's keep as a wedding venue.

 photograph of Argyll lodging at Stirling
By the 17th century it became more convenient for the Earl's and later Dukes of Argyll to have lodgings nearer the seats of power at Edinburgh and Stirling castle. Argyll's Lodging, in Stirling, still stands today and is described as the best remaining 17th century town house in Scotland.

Nasmyth painting of the Duke of Argyll's lodging Edinburgh
The painting by Alexander Nasmyth shows the Edinburgh lodgings, painted when Field Marshal John Campbell was the 5th Duke of Argyll about 1790. His main residence was still Inveraray Castle where he lived with his wife, Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton and family.

clan campbell banner armorial bearings of the Duke of Argyle

history of the Campbell clan
the tartans and crests from Campbells of Breadalbane, Cawdor and Loudon
Scottish contemporary Art
Scottish contemporary Art



campbell clan shield


Turner painting of Inveraray in 1803
Inveraray 1803
Dumbarton castle painting by Naismith in 1816
Dumbarton Castle 1816
anonymous painting of kilchurn castle
Kilchurn Castle
art print of Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell 1830
1834 art print of Dunstaffnage castle
Dunstaffnage Castle 1834
etching print of dumbarton castle in 1834
Dumbarton Castle 1834
Scottish art print of Kilchurn castle in 1836
Kilchurn Castle 1836
Inveraray castle painting from 1850
Inveraray Castle 1850


painting of the Earl of Breadalbane as a child in the 1700's
John, Earl of Breadalbane
as a child, early 1700's
a painting of John Campbell about 1760
John Campbell 4th Duke
of Argyll 1693-1770
painting of Lady Ann Campbell in 1743, from the Hunterian Museum
Lady Anne Campbell,
Countess of Strafford 1743
a painting of John Campbell of Armaddie 1759
John Campbell of Armaddie
painted 1759
Banker and Lawyer
a painting of General Sir Archibald Campbell from 1792
General Sir Archibald Campbell
painted 1792
Soldier and Statesman
a painting of General Sir Archibald Campbell the 1st Baronet
General Sir Archibald Campbell
painted 1830
also Soldier and Statesman
portrait of sir duncan campbell in 1815 painted by hendry raeburn
Sir Duncan Campbell 1815
painted by Hendry Raeburn


Scottish art painting showing clan dress in the 1800's
Colin Campbell has Campbell or Government Tartan. The other unidentified figure has uniform of the 3rd Perthshire Rifle Volunteer Corps and Campbell of Breadalbane tartan kilt. The painting shows a unique illustration of the muzzle-loading Enfield rifle. Background is Loch Fyne. Painting sent to Duchess of Athole (lady to Victoria)on 14 October 1867 by MacLeay. Perhaps the Queen did not approve of the second sitter's portrait. In the lithograph he was removed from the composition and another Breadalbane man (below), John Campbell replaced him.


Scottish art print of Kilchurn castle in 1836
Perhaps the Queen did not approve of the second sitter's portrait. In the lithograph he was removed from the composition and another Breadalbane man, John Campbell replaced him.


painting showing Argyll tartan


painting showing Breadalbane tartan


picture of Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll 1661




Campbell painting showing Loch Awe