The ruins of 15th century Castle Campbell sit high on a hilltop in Dollar Glen. Views from the castle reach in all directions. You can see the town of Dollar and across the countryside to the river Forth estuary. Stairs climb to the top floor of the 15th century tower house commanding even more far-reaching views.
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A narrow road—limited parking—wends its way up to the castle. A better and more scenic approach is to park in the provided lot below Dollar glen and take the path through the woods and along the river. The glen is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its range of wildlife habitats and geological features.
The four-storey rectangular tower house was once called after the gaelic word ‘glom’, meaning chasm, thus it was known as Castle Gloom. First belonging to the Stewart clan, the castle fell into Campbell hands when Elizabeth Stewart was married to the 2nd Lord Campbell—thus the castle’s name change in 1489. Lord Campbell served as the master of the king’s household and chief law officer for both James III and IV.
In the south-west corner of the castle is a spot named John Knox’s pulpit, where he supposedly preached in the 16th century. The castle suffered attack by Catholic forces under the command of Charles I but withstood the assault. It later fell into English hands under Oliver Cromwell, who stationed soldiers there. The castle was set afire in 1654.
In the 19th century castle Campbell was sold by the duke of Argyll. It came under the auspices of the Trust in 1950 and is managed by Historic Scotland.
Off A91, north of Dollar, Stirlingshire
Tel. 01259 742408
Open: all year; from end March-end Sep, daily, 9.30am-last entry 6pm; Oct-end March, Sat-Wed, 9.30-last entry 4pm; closed Christmas and New Years holidays.
Interpretive display, small café in summer.
Dollar Glen (National Trust for Scotland)
Open: all year
Photo of Castle Campbell courtesy Risto Hurmalainen