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Achallader Castle

Achallader Castle is a ruined 16th-century Tower House under the shadow of Beinn Achaladair, near Loch Tulla. Its name is from Gaelic, meaning field of hard water. The castle formerly rose to three storeys, well defended by shot-holes. Now only two walls, one with a trace of corbelling, remain, sheltering the farm buildings of Achallader Farm. The castle was built by Angus Macinleister, first chief of the Fletchers.

History of Achallader Castle

1000's ~'Be mac an Fhleistear a cheud a thog smuid's a thug goil air uisge ann an Gleann Urchaidh'. Fletcher was the first to raise smoke and boil water in Glen Orchy, says the old proverb. In fact this small clan, one of the group descended from the third son of King Kenneth McAlpin, seems to have settled first at Drimfearn in Glen Aray and then in Glen. As the name suggests, they supplemented their subsistence farming by arrow making from the birch trees natural to the Glen. With others bordering Rannoch, the Fletchers found the McIains of Glencoe difficult neighbours. They solved the problem by signing a bond of Manrent with the Stewarts of Appin - that is an agreement that offence to either would be defended by both.

1222 ~ Despite the Fletchers inhabiting Glenorchy the land is bestowed on the MacGregors by King Alexander II, as a reward for their assistance in the conquest of Argyll.

1359 ~ The MacGregor line of chiefs end in the birth of a daughter, Mariota, who marries John, son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochawe, and the Glen is granted to her and her husband by Royal Charter. A close bond of friendship between clan MacGregor and clan Fletcher develops, a Fletcher having saved the life of Rob Roy. But when the MacGregors are driven from Glenorchy in 1432, the Fletchers are permitted to remain. (more in the History section)

Text by Fred Vincent