The castle was built by the reforming churchman John Carswell, who was Rector of Kilmartin, Chancellor of the Chapel Royal at Stirling , and later titular Bishop of the Isles. Construction began in 1565 using masons brought from Stirling. Although the castle was built for Carswell's patron, the Earl of Argyll, he intended it as a personal residence for himself.
On Carswell's death in 1572, the castle passed to his patron, the Earl of Argyll. Later, in 1643, the 8th Earl of Argyll sold Carnasserie to Sir Dugald Campbell, 3rd Baronet of Auchinbreck. Following the 9th Earl's failed uprising in support of the Monmouth Rebellion, against James VII in 1685, the castle was blown up by Royalist forces.
Although the outer walls remain mainly undamaged, the ruins were never repaired. In the 19th century the estate was sold to the Malcolms of Poltalloch, who also own nearby Duntrune Castle. Today it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and it is now in the care of Historic Scotland
Carnasserie has only ever been slightly altered, in the late 17th century, and so it represents an accurate picture of 16th-century architecture. Although sited on raised ground close to a strategic pass at the head of Kilmartin Glen, it was designed for domestic rather than military purposes
There is a little walking involved in visiting the Castle , there is no entrance fee and it is open during the summer months.
Argyll, PA31 8RQ