Urquhart Castle, Scotland

Blood Castle that lasted over 500 years in Scottish history.

Urquhart Castle is located on a promontory jutting out into Loch Ness in the Scottish highlands. Originally, it was a small Celtic castle on a knoll overlooking the Loch Ness. The History of Urquhart Castle and it’s remains today tells the story of the Scottish and the English and the MacDonalds who raided the castle over two hundred years. As the 1300’s rolled by the castle was expanded and fortified by King Edward I of England who took possession of the castle when the Scottish had no leader to organize them. The four story tower was built and the walls of the castle around the mote were expanded. The front gate had a drawbridge in front of it and the stone walls were made to be eight to ten feet thick with stone from local quarries. The Grants were one of the most famous Scottish families to be custodians of Urquhart Castle.

In 1308, Robert De Bruce after his victory over the English and King Edward II at Bannonbock took control of Urquhart castle and Inverness castle surrounding Loch Ness. He put one of his best friends Sir Randolph in charge of the castle. Later on when Robert de Bruce died, the English returned to the highlands and again take control of Urquhart Castle.

I personally visited Urquhart castle back in the 1980’s and was impressed how deep and dark Loch ness was and how large the remains of Urquhart castle were covering many acres. To prevent the Jacobites who supported the exiled King James of Scotland, the English troops quartered at Urquhart castle blew up the gatehouse and destroyed and stole all the furniture and scattered the cattle and livestock. The castle became abandoned for man years. The locals stole the facing stones from the buildings for their own homes and eventually the four story tower collapsed during a storm. Still today the Ghosts of the Grants and the Macdonalds haunt Urquhart castle high on the hills next toe Loch Ness.

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