Legends of Scotland – Tales from Splendour’s Wheelhouse ‘The Ghostly Harpist’

Legends of Scotland – Tales From Splendour’s Wheelhouse.

From mythical monsters and giants to clan chiefs with superhuman powers and tales of tragic, unrequited love, Scotland is a land filled with myths and legends.

Splendour sails through the heart of where many of these stories are based and during the Year of Coasts and Waters we’re going to share some of our favourite stories with you.

Ghostly Harpist – Inveraray Castle

Most old buildings, certainly castles, boast a ghost or two. From grey ladies appearing suddenly to mischievous children knocking things over to make things go ‘bump in the night’, the history of our oldest buildings is a tapestry of the people who once lived and worked in them.

However, have you ever heard of a ghostly harpist? We have, at one of our favourite daily excursion spots. Inverary Castle, on the shores of Loch Fyne. There has been a castle at Inveraray since the 1400s but the castle which we kn0w and love was completed in 1877. If you’re on one of our spring or autumn cruises then a trip to Inveraray Castle may well be on your cruise itinerary.

This particular legend takes you on a trip back to 1644, Archibald Campbell is Clan Chief and Duke of Argyll. This is not a happy time in Inveraray’s history and Archibald has found himself in the middle of a bloody civil war. Inveraray is on fire, ransacked by James Graham, the Marquess of Montrose. And while his people are dying in the towns streets, Archibald makes his escape, on a rowing boat which heads down Loch Fyne.

Among the people left in Inveraray is a young Irish harpist. He was found by Montrose’s men and hanged.

But, as we know, while you can kill a mortal, you can’t destroy a spirit. This young boy’s attachment to the castle was so strong that the harpist continues to play. Interestingly, more duchesses than dukes have heard the harpist, however, his playing becomes more active around the time when a Duke of Argyll dies when harp music can be heard coming from his room.

So if you’re fortunate enough to go on a tour of this beautiful building then keep an ear open. You might just hear the sound of a harp coming from the Blue Roon or Green Library.