'A fayre pyle and a stronge'
In 1508 James IV, King of Scotland, granted the lands of Saddell Abbey to David Hamilton, Bishop of Argyll, with licence to 'build castles ... and fortify them with stone walls.' Saddell Castle was the result, a tower-house typical of the period. It was probably completed by 1512 and used by the Bishop as an occasional residence. In 1556 Saddell was transferred to James Macdonald, who had been busy annoying the English army in Ireland. In retaliation the Earl of Sussex mounted a raid on Kintyre in 1558 during which he burned and sacked the Castle, which he described as 'a fayre pyle and a stronge.'