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Loch Awe

Barr a Chasteilean

Barr a Chasteilean is a deserted village across the railway bridge at Dalmally and left through a forestry plantation. The way is marked, and a signboard gives some notes.

The houses of the village cluster near the ruins of a dun, or fortified house, hence the name, which means Castle Hill. In the 1400s, Barr a'Chasteilean was the home of the MacNabs, iron workers and armourers. By 1823 the main family there was the MacNicols. After 1874, when the settlement was disrupted by the railway, families gradually moved out of the village, as more convenient housing became available. The village was finally abandoned in 1948.

Apart from the dun, which is interesting in itself, there are the remains of ten or so houses, which were built of stone and would have been thatched. A large walled area was the communal garden, the Garradh Mor. The outlying field system is now covered by forestry, but it is still possible to walk to the village by the designated paths. There is no longer any sign of the water system which must have served the village.

Design by Pole Position