Distant Past

Castle Hill

There was probably a dun or hill fort on this site from an early period. As the position commanding the Firth of Clyde is excellent. The early Celtic dun, of round huts protected by ditches or banks, was replaced in the 13th. century by a stone castle, the rocky hill being the "motte" and the " bailey" with barns, stables, workshops etc., occupying what is now the Castle Gardens. In 1377 Dunoon Castle became a Royal Castle, and in 1469 an Act made it the property for " all time being" of the heir to the throne.

Stillaig Standing Stone

Standing stones are among the most impressive reminders of the ancient past. A single stone may be all that remains of a circle of stones, which would probably be the site of ritual ceremonies or tribal gatherings. This one stands at Stillaig in West Cowal, near Kilfinan.

Stillaig Standing Stone
Ardnadam Pot

Ardnadam Pot
This handsome pot has been dated as Late Neolithic, c5000 years ago. It was excavated by Cowal Archaeological Society in 1974 and was then lodged in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow. Courtesy of the Curator of the Hunterian Museum, this exciting find has been returned to this area.
It is possible to visit the site of the excavation by following the Ardnadam Trail, approached from the High Road from Dunoon to Sandbank. Descriptive leaflets are available.

The Coming of the Scots

Later, Celts invaded the West of Scotland and called their territory "Argyll" – "Earra-ghael" – Land of the Gaelic speakers. Dunoon comes from "Dun-Abhainn" – the fort by the river. Even Cowal takes its name from "Comgall" who settled here.

Should you wish to contact Cowal Archaeological Society you may do this through the Museum.