Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.

This castle is located close to the village of Dornie, about seventy miles south-west of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

The site (in medieval times) was ideal for controlling the waterways at junction of lochs Long, Alsh and Duich which provide access to the sea.

A summary history of the castle is provided below.

  • There is a record of a castle on the site from the 13th century. Prior to that there is evidence of fortifications dating back to the Iron-Age, about two thousand years ago.
  • The island and castle take their name from a seventh century AD Christian missionary named Donan who was martyred on the Isle of Eigg in AD 618.
  • Ownership granted to Colin Mackenzie by king Alexander III in mid-13th century.
  • Reached peak size in 13th-14th centuries with two towers.
  • Reduced in size during 15th century.
  • During 16th-17th centuries a modest enlargement occurred, principally to include a hornwork or firing platform for the new technology of cannons.
  • Blown up by Government forces during the Jacobite uprising of 1719 from whereon the castle lay in ruins until early 20th century.
  • Between 1913 and 1932 the castle was rebuilt to a design similar to the original. This  project inspired and managed by Lt. Col, John MacRae-Gilstrap and Farquhar MacRae.
  • The principal aspects of the castle today are: Courtyard, Billeting Room, Banqueting Hall, Bedrooms and Kitchen Range. The interior is of the 1930s period.

Today the Clan MacRae Society  is based at Eilean Donan Castle. At the castle there is a memorial to all those of Clan MacRae who died in the First World War.

Tours of the castle are available. There is also a Visitor Centre with a shop and restaurant facilities.

Video clip of Loch Alsh and Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle at night

Entrance to Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Harpist at Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Artist at Eilean Donan Castle, Scottish Highlands

Piper at Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich,Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich, Scotland

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