Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eileen Donan Castle, Near Dornie

Eileen Donan Castle
Near Dornie
Kyle of Lochalsh

Eileen Donan Castle was renstored between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap, who was responsible for the construction of the arched bridge joining the small island of Eileen Donan to the mainland. The island was home to a fort dating to well before the 13th century. During the late 1200s a curtain walled castle was built, probably marking the boundary of the Lordship of the Isles and the Earldom of Ross. It may have been used to prevent or provide early warning for Norse incursions into Scotland. 

Above. Eileen Donan Castle from the South.

The Mackenzies held the island in the late 1200s (the Earls of Ross) They built a tower house here, an early attempt at a small scale keep. The MacRaes, protectors of the Mackenzies, took over control of the island and its fortifications in 1511, becoming hereditary constables of the castle.

Above. Eileen Donan Castle from the West.

Following the failure of the 1715 Jacbobite rebellion, James Stuart sought Spanish support, resulting the garrisoning of the castle by about 300 Spanish troops. An expected Scottish uprising, and the provision of further troops from Spain never appeared, and it wasn't long before the English navy turned their attention to the castle and its foreign garrison. Three Royal Navy ships, HMS Worcester, HMS Flamborough and HMS Enterprise anchored off the island with the intention of offering a surrender, but when the Spanish troops opened fire they began a destructive bombardment of the castle. A landing party soon captured the island and the castle with very little opposition. Huge amounts of ammunition were found in the castle's vaults, and the Royal Navy spent the next few days destroying the castle and its defences. 

The Eileen Donan web site.

More photos and information at the Undiscovered Scotland web site.

Photos courtesy of John Jefferies.

1 comment:

nordsmetal said...

is it possible i have seen that castle in a movie?
unfortunately i can't remember the name of it, it was a romantic/comic film