Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular castles for visitors and photographers alike . Unfortunately so far this year I haven’t managed to go up there due to a number of factors , not least the coronavirus lockdown .
The good news about Eilean Donan Castle is that I am hoping the current pandemic will pass its peak in the next 4 weeks which means June or July may be feasible dates for my next trip to the castle .
Eilean Donan means Island of Donan (a religious figure from the 12th century). Eilean 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.
Above the entrance to the castle there 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 ( guardians ) of the castle carved on it.
Medieval Eilean Donan castle has had a long and dramatic history . It was blown to smithereens in 1719 by 3 English frigates . It was rebuilt 100 years ago and nowadays it is a hugely popular visitor attraction, popular amongst photographers and visitors from all over the world
Eilean Donan Castle is in a unique location , on an island in the middle of three sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland, next to the village of Dornie on the main road to the Isle of Skye. It is the most photographed castle in the world . Eilean Donan Castle tours can be booked online .
Eilean Donan Castle prints and gifts can be bought online. We will be publishing our own unique gift collection in the next month so check back here soon
Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. 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. 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 a 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.