Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker ( Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal an Stalcaire) is a four-storey tower house or keep picturesquely set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe. It is located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north east of Port Appin, Argyll, Scotland, and is visible from the A828 road around mid-way between Oban and Glen Coe. The islet is accessible (with difficulty) from the shore at low tide. The name "Stalker" comes from the Gaelic Stalcaire, meaning "hunter" or "falconer", and should therefore be pronounced stal-ker, with the l sounded, not as in the pronunciation of the English word stalker. In recent times the castle was brought to fame by the Monty Python team, appearing in their film Monty Python and the Holy Grail . It also appeared in the film Highlander: Endgame . The Castle's implausibly picturesque appearance, with its bewitching island setting against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, has made it a favourite subject for postcards and calendars, and something of a cliché image of Scottish Highland scenery. Castle Stalker is entirely authentic; it is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.

The original castle was a small fort, built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall who were then Lords of Lorn. Around 1388 the Stewarts took over the Lordship of Lorn, and it is believed that they built the castle in its present form around the 1440s. The Stewart's relative King James IV of Scotland visited the castle, and a drunken bet around 1620 resultied in the castle passing to Clan Campbell. After changing hands between these clans a couple of times the Campbells finally abandoned the castle around 1840, when it lost its roof. Then in 1908 a Stewart bought the castle and carried out basic conservation work, and in 1965 Lt. Col. D. R. Stewart Allward acquired the castle and over about ten years fully restored it. Castle Stalker remains in private ownership and is not generally open to the public, although visits can be made by appointment.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
While the other castle scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed in and around Doune Castle, Castle Stalker appears in the final scene as Castle Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh. First we see the castle from a distance, next John Cleese uses his outrageous French accent to taunt Arthur from its battlements, then finally a massive attack is launched at the castle with an odd conclusion: the police officers who were investigating the death of the historian earlier in the film arrive and arrest Arthur and the other knights. One of them then turns to the camera and says, "All right, sonny, that's enough, just pack that in.", forcibly ending the movie.


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