Of old Brodick Castle only one end, and the stones used by the
old builders and part of the plan and outline, now remain. It
has been practically rebuilt many times, and was completely
modernised in the middle of the nineteenth century. None the
less, there are few castles can compare with it in associations,
and fewer still have been taken and re-taken as often as Brodick.
In the re-building of 1844, referred to, a heavy tower was built
up on the remains of the old walls, and one winter's night the
tower fell with a tremendous crash. Brodick's chief interest
lies now in its splendid position and its associations with a
hundred wild forays, with fire and with sword. Among the keepers
of Arran Castle have beenó
1296 Sir John Stewart of
1305 Thomas Bisset of the Glens, in
Ireland, and (about) of Rathlin.
1306 Sir John Hastings.
1313 Sir John Stewart of Menteith.
1445 William Stewart
(nephew of Robert II.).
1488 Hugh, Lord Montgomery.
1579 Ninian Stewart.
1586 Patrick Hamilton.
1588 Paul Hamilton.
the finest sights in the West Highlands is the old royal castle
of Lochranza, standing, superbly set, on its narrow peninsula of
sand, with the water at its feet and the crags above, and all
the wealth of reds and browns of the sea margin giving the place
its wonderful colouring. The cottages and hills and distant view
down Glen Chamadale add another interest to a picture already
wild and lovely.
The castle, once a royal residence or hunting
lodge, is now in ruins, though only one hundred and forty years
ago it was seemingly quite habitable. Its plan is that of a
typical Scottish castle, rather better than the mere peel tower.
On the first floor the hall measured some 74 ft. by 23 ft., and
was lit by three windows. The floor was boarded at any rate in
later times. The castle possessed the luxury of a kitchen, and
on the first floor was also another room. The place is mentioned
by Fordun in 1400. It was given by John of Menteith to Duncan
Campbell of Lochawe in 1433, and in 1445 was occupied by Ronald
MacAllister as Captain, at which time he was also tenant of
certain crown lands in the island, for which he paid a rent of
£16, 6s. 8d., and twelve bolls of bear. As Donal Balloch had
about this time laid his lands waste, MacAllister refused to pay
his rent. The castle and lands of Lochranza, Cattadell, the two
Tonregeys (now barbarously called Thundergay), and other lands
were given by James II. to Alexander, Lord Montgomery. His
grandson was created Earl of Eglinton, and in 1488 was keeper of
Brodick Castle. In 1661 it was still in the possession of the
same family. In 1685 passed to the Montgomeries of Skelmorlie,
and early in the next century passed to the Hamiltons.
chapel of St. Bride, mentioned by Scott as possessing a convent,
where dwelt Isabel and the Maid of Lome, stood on the beach, but
not a trace now remains to show the spot.
GEOLOGY OF ARRAN
Arran has been said to be in itself an
epitome of geology, and in that respect it is unique. Briefly,
the Devonian sandstone extends from the east to some five miles
inland, and from Brodick takes a turn to the southwest.
Trap-rock and carboniferous strata occur in the west and centre
of the island. The central granite portion includes the great
hills of Goatfell, Cir Mhor and Casteal Abhail. On the
north-east and south the granite is joined by mica slate; on the
south-east and north by lower Silurian rocks, which are met on
the east and south by Devonian sandstone, while lias and oolite
lie above the mica slate.