Dunoon & Easter Ross Scotland

Old Dunoon Travel Poster The Ruins of Dunoon Castle Dunoon, Argyll Street Inveraray Castle, Seat of the Duke of Argyll

Old Dunoon Travel Poster, Ruins of Dunoon Castle, Dunoon - Argyll Street, Inveraray Castle

The old family name, Denune, is thought to have derived from the place name Dunoon, Dunomhainn in Gaelic. The Scottish town of Dunoon is located in west central Scotland north of the Firth of the Clyde river, on the Cowal Peninsula, in Argyll. About the end of the fifth century Scots colonizers came over from Ireland, ousted the rough British tribes who inhabited the area, and settled around Loch Fyne. Earrha Gael, "land of the Gael" they called their new won territory, from which came the later name Argyll. Gaelic was the language of our ancestors and indeed was the language heard most at Dunoon until the mid nineteenth century. The Gaels gave names to hills, rivers and townships. These names have survived. Nearly all these names were descriptive. According to one linguistic interpretation, the meaning of the word from which the modern name Dunoon derives is "Fort of the Harbour", "New Fort", or "Green Hill". The hill stands just above the Dunoon Pier. A few crumbled stones are all that remain of the castle around which Dunoon developed. One of the oldest stone castles in Scotland, it was built in the 12th century, and destroyed during Argyll's Rising, a rebellion in 1685 led by Archibald Campbell, the 9th Earl of Argyll against James VII. 39 miles north of Dunoon, the seat of the 13th Duke of Argyll, Torquil Campbell, is Inverary Castle.

The Dunoon Massacre

Took place only a few miles from Dunoon, on June 3, 1646. Men of the powerful Clan Campbell massacred men, women and children of the Clan Lamont... Not only would the Campbells break the code of honor between chiefs, but they would slaughter over 200 Lamonts, hanging them from trees and even burying them alive... The massacre is commemorated by a Dunoon Massacre Memorial, dedicated in 1906... The ringleader of the Campbell clan, Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl of Argyll, was eventually punished for his unspeakable crime, and beheaded...


About 45 years later, on 13 February 1692, Clan Campbell was again responsible for a massacre. Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll's army, under the leadership of his son, Archibald Campbell, King William's chief Scottish advisor, later 1st Duke of Argyll was involved in the massacre of the MacDonalds at Glen Coe, where an estimated 30 MacDonalds were put to death on the grounds they had not been prompt in pledging alleiance to the new monarchs.



Easter Ross

Part of the Highland area of Scotland, and 208 miles north of Dunoon on the east coast lies the area where Duncan and Donald Campbell, aka Denune fled to. Donald became Abbot of Fearn and Baron of Cadboll. In 1534 the lands and Barony of Cadboll were given to Duncan's son, Andrew Denune. Cadboll Castle is 7 miles south east of Tain in the Parish of Fearn. Easter Ross is small part of a large area of northern Scotland, Ross-Shire. Tain, the main city in Easter Ross, was granted a royal charter in 1066, making it Scotland's oldest Royal Burgh. The Clan Munro are a leading land owning family of the area. Balnagown Castle is located beside the village of Kildary, and is the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan Ross. The current Clan Chief is Baron David Campbell Ross. A Pictish stone c. 800 AD, from Hilton of Cadboll, on the East coast of the Tarbat Peninsula, nine miles south east of Tain, is one of the most magnificent of all Pictish cross-slabs. Illustrated here is a 1998 reconstruction by Barry Grove, erected at the site. The original was carried to various places, used as a garden ornament in the 1860's by the MacLeods of Cadboll, The British Museum in 1921, and finally returned to Scotland's Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh the same year.

Cadboll Castle

Blessing or Curse of Cadboll Castle? You Decide!

In an old Statistical Account of Scotland a singular and remarkable tradition concerning the ancient Castle of Cadboll is stated, that though it was inhabited for ages, yet never any person died in it. Many of those who lived in the castle wished to be brought out of it, as they longed for death, especially Lady Mary, who resided there about the end of the 17th century. in the time of the Denune's. Being long ill and anxious for death, she desired to be carried out of her castle, which at last was accordingly done, and no sooner was she out than she expired. The only remains of the ancient Castle of Cadboll are two or three vaults. 

From: The Scottish Nation, Volume III, by William Anderson, 1863

Fearn Abbey

Fearn Abbey, "Lamp of the North"

Donald Campbell aka Denune accompanied his brother Duncan Campbell aka Denune to the north to escape Duncan's death sentence conviction, for cattle rustling, handed down from his kinsman's the first Earl of Argyll's court.

Donald being bred to the church, became abbot of Ferne in Rossshire where he acquired considerable wealth. He served as Abbot or Commendator of Fearn from 1526-1540, when he died. Fearn Abbey, one of the oldest pre-Reformation church buildings in Scotland was founded in the 1220's by Farquhar, the first Earl of Ross. The Abbey served as a burial site of the Earls of Ross and the eastern end is partitioned off and set aside as the  burial vault of the family of Ross of Balnagown. The Commentator that preceeded Donald, was Patrick Hamilton, who was burnt at the stake in 1528 for adopting Reformation ideas. In 1560 Fearn Abbey became a Presybterian church.


Dunoon's #1 Indoor Attraction, Castle House Museum


Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard News


Dunoon Live Webcams


Clan Campbell Society of North America,  Denune/Dunoon is a Sept of this clan


Inveraray Castle, home of the 13th Duke of Argyll, Clan Campbell Chief Torquhil Campbell


Clan Ross America, Denune/Dunoon is a Sept of this clan


Balnagowan Estate, ancestral home of Clan Ross chiefs, 

purchased in 1972 by Egyptian business magnate, Mohamed AL Fayed, who restored the property and employes many locals. Mohamed is the father of Dodi Fayed who was in a romantic relationship with Princess Di, with whom he died in a car chase, August 1997 in Paris. Various conspiracy theories lead to a British inquest in 2004.  Mohamed AL Fayed believes that his son and Princess Diana were murdered


Campbell Tartan Clan Campbell Crest with motto: Do Not Forget Clan Campbell Plant: Bog Myrtle Clan Ross Tartan

Clan Campbell Tartan; Crest with motto: Do Not Forget; plant: Bog Myrtle. 

Clan Ross Tartan; Crest with motto: Success Nourishes Hope; plant: Juniper

The Denune/ Denoon names are Septs of the Clan Campbell, as well as Clan Ross.