Standing proudly on a clifftop guarding the Sound of Mull, Duart enjoys one of the most spectacular and unique positions on the West Coast of Scotland.
For over 400 years this has been the base of the Clan Maclean's sea-borne power.
The castle stands on a crag at the end of the peninsular jutting out into the Sound of Mull at the intersection of the sound of Mull, Loch Linne and the Firth of Lorne and within view of the neighbouring castles of Dunstaffnage, Dunollie, Aros and Ardtornish, part of a chain of castles up the Sound of Mull to Mingary Castle. Duart was originally a rectangular wall enclosing a courtyard. In 1350 Lachlan Lubanach, the 5th Chief, married Mary Macdonald, the daughter of the Lord of the Isles and she was given Duart as her dowry.
Lachlan Lubanach built the keep (tower house) on the outside of the original curtain wall but forming an integral part with it, and enclosed the well.
Duart Castle courtyard
Later in the mid 17th century small vaulted cellars with a hall at first floor level and perhaps a small chamber above, were built within the courtyard on the South East side. At the same time the defence to the gateway entrance to the courtyard was strengthened by a two story gatehouse.
In 1673 Sir Allan Maclean rebuilt the three story building on the North East side of the courtyard, facing the entrance. There was a kitchen at ground floor level and residential rooms above.
In 1691 the Macleans surrendered Duart and all their lands on Mull to the Duke of Argyll. The Castle, although in a fairly ruinous condition was used as a garrison for Government troops until 1751. It was then abandoned until 1910 when it was purchased by Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 26th Chief. He then set about the enormous task of restoring the building.