Historic Dunoon

Located to the south of Holy Loch, and to the north west of Gourock, Dunoon is being the main town on the Cowal Peninsula.

Known for her liaison with Robert Burns, Mary Campbell, daughter of a local Dunoon ship owner, was immortalised as the statue of Highland Mary. This monument can be found in the grounds of Cowal Gardens beside the Castle House Museum. Mary stands there watching the ships that pass Dunoon on their way from Glasgow and the River Clyde out to the Firth of Clyde and beyond.

Dunoon Castle was one of the first stone castles in Scotland, built in the 12th century. It became a royal castle belonging to the Earls of Argyll (Clan Campbell), having originally belonged to the Lamont family. The Earls of Argyll were hereditary keepers paying the nominal rent of a red rose. It is said that Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Dunoon Castle in 1563; the castle was last tendered to the sovereign when Queen Elizabeth II visited Dunoon. Unfortunately just some remains have made it down to the present day – the castle was destroyed during the Rebellion of the 9th Earl of Argyll in 1685.

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