The MacMillans in Knapdale
Click here for map of Knapdale showing clan sites - which will open as a PDF in a separate window
Though tradition suggests the ancestors of the 18th century clan chiefs did not arrive in Knapdale until the 15th century, it's probable that MacMillans had been established there long before that - maybe indeed ever since the birth of the clan. The first of Maolan's descendants to be documented in the area is John de Lany who was Constable of Tarbert Castle in 1326. Alexander MacMillan is said to have built the square tower at Castle Sween (above and below left) when he was Constable there in the 1470s, and it's his name that appears on the first of the two late 15th century crosses at Kilmory Knap (below centre). The second cross, which is now missing it's top and any legible inscription - though fortunately what it said was recorded by a visiting antiquary in the 17th century - bore the names of Alexander's son Malcolm and grandson Duncan. When the Campbells were installed by the crown as the lords of Knapdale in the early 16th century the MacMillans there entered a period of obscurity, from which they re-emerged in 1666 as the lairds of Dunmore (above and below right), which may well have been the clan's principal seat in Knapadale for centuries past. The present house at Dunmore was built however some time after the last MacMillans lived there. See the Genealogy section of this website for the descent of MacMillans of Dunmore and other MacMillan families in Knapdale.