Lochranza Castle is located in the north of the Isle of Arran, on a peninsula which extends into Loch Ranza.

Engraving of Lochranza Castle by W. Thomas

It was thought to have been a tower house from the 1500s but studies carried out on the ruins have revealed that it is a hall-house from the late 1200s or early 1300s and was probably built for a family called MacSween, who were a powerful family during the struggles with the Norwegians.

It was originally two storeys beneath battlements with lodgings on the upper floor and storage below. The main door would have been at a high level and was reached by a ladder.

It is said that Robert the Bruce landed here in 1306, returning from Ireland to Scotland to claim the Scottish throne.

The hall house was converted to a tower house in the late 1500s, probably by one of the Montgomeries of Eglinton, who held this part of Arran in the 1500s. Its ownership passed to the Duke of Hamilton in 1705. It was disused since the late 1700s.

Drawing of Lochranza Castle c.1800 by J.S Cotman

The castle was the inspiration for the castle in The Adventures of Tintin comic “The Black Island”.

Lochranza Castle in 2005