About Aros Castle... a brief history

Looking out from the sitting room you can almost touch the ruins of Aros Castle. The MacDougall chiefs build this Castle in the 13th century to guard their land from marauding clans.

It was theirs for 400 years until the Campbell of Argyll took it, along with the MacDougall lands.

There have always been people living in and around the castle, brewsters [who made the beer], farriers, soldiers, cattlemen and along with these men their wives and children.

The boatmen were also here and below the cliff, looking towards Salen are the remains of a small harbour used by the castle.

With the castle went punishment for wrong doings, and standing tall within the old castle bounds is the hanging rock.

The castle became a ruin, but the land around was farmed. 1756 saw a Duncan Campbell renting the farm for £110 yearly. A head count held by the Duke of Argyll in 1779 showed 57 people living around the area now known as Aros Mains.

The Georgian part of the present house was built between 1770 and 1780 by the Duke of Argyll for James Maxwell, his Chamberlain. Maxwell moved into the "new house" in 1789 along with his wife and family. From then onwards there was a steady stream of 'tourists', all wishing to see the Treshnish Isles, Staffa, Ulva and Iona. They all wished to explore this 'wilderness' called Mull in the Hebrides.

Amongst the many who visited was one widowed lady of 60. Mrs Sarah Mull decided to tour. What is so incredible about Sarah was that she came alone, without a companion, or maid. Hiring horses and guides, many of whom were not able to speak English, she travelled from Aros Mains to Ulva. At one point her guide having taken the wrong pass over a hill. From all this came one of the first tourist guides to the Western Island and Scotland.

From that time to the present day many landowners have purchased and lived in the house you are in. Few living here for long, many just letting it to tenants. One owner Captain Farquhar Campbell built the pier and the hotel which is now the White House. In more recent years it became the property of the Forestry Commission and was their offices, and also flats for forestry workers who held holdings.

Finally it was sold again and eventually became our home.

So, as you relax in the upstairs sitting room remember that folk have been enjoying the view for at least 200 years.