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Eilean Donan Castle , Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle , the Highlands

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Where is it? Eilean Donan Castle is near Dornie,by Kyle of Lochalsh, Ross-shire.

It is open April to October , every day of the week. Phone 01599 - 555202

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Eilean Donan means Island on Donan.Eileen Donan was Clan MacKenzie's most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.
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Eilean Donan Castle 12 by 8 inch print $11.95 / £7.95

The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs. Although there was a number of disputes, the MacKenzies held Eilean Donan right up until until the 16th century.
The MacRaes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511 with a lot of control over the surrounding area.

Eilean donan castle in winter
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Eilean Donan Castle in winter

 

A feud between the MacKenzies and the McLeods of Dunvegan, over the disputed claims of Donald Gorm MacDonald to the title of Lord of the Isles, came to head when he attacked the Castle with 50 galleys. He was shot and killed by Duncan MacRae with a single arrow.

The Castle was garrisoned by Government troops but later retaken by the Jacobites before the Battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1719 3 English frigates bombarded the castle and destroyed it . The castle them lay in ruins for nearly 200 years . Our Romantic Islands and The Castle Trails runs on September 15th, 2003 visiting 9 castles - Eilean Donan Castle , Glamis Castle , Dunnottar Castle ,Huntly Castle ,Urquhart Castle , Dunvegan Castle , Dunstaffnage Castle , Inverlochy Castle , Kilchurn Castle .

eilean donan at night

In 1911 John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle and set about making plans to rebuild it . It took twenty year and a quarter of a million pounds to complete the task . Local materials were used where possible for the building work .
 

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Over the portcullis at the entrance to the castle is a Gaelic inscription which translates as: As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a panel with the names of the constables of the castle carved on it .

Eilean Donan Castle was built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. In 1719 it was held by Spanish Jacobites. Three English frigates attacked the castle and left it in ruins. In 1912 work started on restoring the castle over a period of twenty years at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds. More recently the castle featured in the new Bond movie.
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Eilean Donan Castle is on a rock in the middle of 3 lochs - Loch Alsh , Loch Long and Loch Duich - and surrounded by the mountains of the Highlands . The castle is next to the village of Dornie and about 8 miles from the Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to the Isle of Skye . The castle is open most of the year and it is run by the Conchra Charitable Trust . The castle was built around 1200 and has been used in many films including James Bond and Highlander . More information about the history of the castle

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Falkirk FK2 0NX ( UK )

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