Ceartas is Cuirmean
Justice and Joviality
The great hall occupied the whole floor above you. It was the hub of the castle, where the Lord of Lorn sat in banquets in the evening.
Gone is the Grandeur
The great hall was part of the original castle. So little remains, however, that its layout is no longer clear. There may have been a large window where the donjon now stands. By the 1700s, the hall must have been remodelled because you can see a fireplace built into the doorway on this wall. The remaining windows are more easily seen from outside.
'Is a sin do Dhun-Stainnis
Far nach fhaigh mi nis' aoibhneas
Mar bha aig na Righrean
Tha nan sineadh 'san rei'lan:
Bho Òrain Ghaelach le Iain MacGhrigair
'And from there to Dunstaffnage
Where I will now not find joy
As the Kings had
That lie in the plain'.
From Gaelic Songs by John MacGregor
Living in the Round
The donjon tower — next to the great hall — was a fortified keep and not a prison dungeon. It was of three towers added to the castle in about 1250 to provide the lord with comfortable private rooms. It also gave defending archers a good view along the adjacent walls.
bedchamber was on the top floor and his 'hall' — his living and working room — was below it. The spiral stair linking the two gave access to a latrine that sat above an open chute — you can see it better from outside.
( photo captions )
- Above: This lead stamp was found on the beach near Dunstaffnage. It would have been used on the wax seals, like a signature, that were fixed to documents to signify agreement to the hand-written decisions or contracts.
- Left: The great hall was used as a courtroom, a place for meetings and negotiations, a rent-collector's office, a hospitality suite for visitors, a family dining room and a theatre for enjoying musicians and storytellers.