What do Duart Castle and Sean Connery have in common? Well, for a start the castle was the ancestral home of the MacLean Clan, and Sean Connery has MacLean ancestry on his mother's side. Added to which, appropriately, the castle was used in the film Entrapment, starring Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Another film featuring the castle was When Eight Bells Toll, starring Anthony Hopkins. It is not surprising that the film-makers were attracted to the castle, which makes a magnificent sight on a mound overlooking the Sound of Mull. The castle dates from the 14th century, when the 5th Chief of the MacLeans, Lachlan Lubanach, married the daughter of the Lord of the Isles Mary MacDonald, and she was presented with Duart Castle as her dowry. During the 17th century, the castle was subjected to repeated clashes between the MacLeans and the Campbells, until in 1691 the castle was surrendered to Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll. The Campbells then set about demolishing the castle, and it remained as a ruin until the 27th Chief of the Clan MacLean, Sir Fitzroy Donald MacLean, bought it in 1911 and a painstaking restoration was begun. The resulting born-again castle is now open to visitors, who can also enjoy the Millennium Wood, a collection of trees and shrubs indigenous to this part of Scotland which was introduced by the present Clan Chief Sir Lachlan MacLean.
Map of the area.
© 2010 Philippe Giabbanelli, via Wikimedia Commons