|Argyll and Bute
Saddell is a little village sitting on the east side of the Kintyre peninsula of Argyllshire, overlooking the Kilbrannan Sound and the Isle of Arran. It is eight miles north from Campbeltown on the B842 road to Carradale.
The name 'Saddell' is derived from the Old Norse for 'Sandy dale'.
In Saddell stand the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey. This was founded around 1160 by Somerled, the famous ruler of the Hebrides, and completed by his son. Their descendants became the Clan MacDonald and eventual Lords of the Isles. Stone carving was a speciality at Saddell and there are fine examples of carved mediæval grave slabs displayed under cover in the grounds of the abbey, now a cemetery. Relief carvings on the stones show warriors in their armour, clerics, ships, huntsmen with stags, large swords and knotwork designs. Most were carved at Saddell Abbey but some are more typical of the Iona school of stone-carving.
- Main article: Saddell Castle
Saddell Castle, a tower house a quarter of a mile to the southeast and nearer the shore, was built for the Bishop of Argyll in the early 16th century. When the Campbells took it over in the late 17th century, stone from the abbey was used to add farm buildings to the castle. The family moved into a new house nearby around 1774, and the castle deteriorated over the years before being bought by the Landmark Trust. In 1976 the Trust contracted Mr Robert R Mauchline to restore the castle to its former glory.
Soon after its completion the castle appeared in Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre" music video. Mr Mauchline's daughters Joanna and Hazel were also featured in the video.
The Trust now owns both Saddell Castle and the newer Saddell House, and allows pedestrian access to the beach below at Saddell Bay. At the end of the bay is Pluck Wood in which are found the remains of an Iron Age fort.