By Anita Draycott
Spectacularly situated on a clifftop overlooking the Sound of Mull, Loch Linne and the Firth of Lorne, Duart Castle has been the base of Clan MacLean for over 400 years. Dating from the 13th century, Duart was originally a rectangular wall enclosing a courtyard. Later in the mid 17th century the castle was extended with the addition of small vaulted cellars with a within the courtyard on the South East side and a two-story gatehouse. In 1691, the Macleans surrendered Duart and all their lands on Mull to the Duke of Argyll. The castle, although in a fairly ruinous condition was used as a garrison for government troops until 1751. It was abandoned until 1910 when it was purchased by Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 26th chief. He then set about the enormous task of restoring the building to its present condition.