A brief history of Cowal

Cowal is full of the signs of a fascinating history; standing stones, burial cairns and rock carvings dot the landscape and castles and historic buildings provide scenic drama against a backdrop of sea, forest and mountain.

A brief history of Cowal

Although a Norse origin for the name of Cowal is maintained, others would argue that it derived from the leader of the Scotti tribe by the name of Comgall. They were a Gaelic speaking tribe from Northern Ireland who settled in Argyll about 1500 years ago. A battle in the twelfth century gave a rare, but bloody victory for the Scots over the Vikings. By the time of Edward I the Lamonts were the strongest clan, but backed the King against Robert the Bruce and promptly lost to the high stewards (or stewerts) who led a Campbell army to reclaim the castle at Dunoon. For many years the area suffered from the power struggles of these three clans with much blood being spilt. The Lamont family continued to own land right up to modern times, but it was the Campbells who established themselves as the predominant family and largest landowners.