Little Cumbrae castle was built by Lord Eglinton in the 16th century, some sources say as a base to prevent deer and rabbit poaching, apparently both animals being very common on the main Cumbrae island at the time .
In 1651 the Earl of Eglington sent his wife Lady Montgomerie to the castle with a garrison of men as he went off to fight Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, after the battle she was advised to surrender the castle to Cromwell or have it destroyed.
At some point during this period of unrest Archibald Hamilton a friend and correspondent of Cromwell was imprisoned in the dungeon of the castle, he was later taken to Stirling were he was hanged.
The castle was stormed by Cromwellian forces and destroyed apparently for the part it had played in his friend’s downfall, the castle was never reoccupied.
The castle looks at though it’s still in good condition; it lies on a little tidal islet.
In order to view the castle in any detail you have to take a boat trip round little Cumbrae,you cant land as the island is private.
The boat the Mary Anne leaves from Millport and is a pleasant trip of about an hour, the guide on board is very informative and friendly with a good knowledge of the whole island.