Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tour Eilean Donan Castle Scotland

Tour Eilean Donan Castle Scotland. I should be visiting this castle in the next few days, and hope to get a better video than on my last visit. The island of Donan in Loch Duich has been fortified since the earliest recorded times. The remains of a vitrified fort and the impression of a human foot sculpted in stone are strong clues to activity here as far back as Iron Age times. The island and the castle take their name however from the seventh century missionary Donan who went calmly to his death on Eigg in 618 AD once his pagan executioners agreed to first let him finish Mass. The earliest records of a castle here date from the mid thirteenth century, at the time of the Norse withdrawal from western Scotland following their defeat at Largs in 1263. Alexander III is said to have given Eilean Donan to a warrior called Colin MacCoinneach, or Mackenzie, who had excelled in battle against the Norse. Ownership of the castle was then disputed between the Earl of Ross and Clan Mackenzie for some decades. According to tradition, the Mackenzies wisely befriended Robert the Bruce and sheltered him at Eilean Donan after his defeat at Dail Righ in 1306. The Mackenzie reward came in time from David II in the form of a charter confirming their ownership of the castle and its estates. However the clan most closely associated with Eilean Donan are the Macraes who acted as Constables there for the Mackenzies, earning the nickname 'Mackenzie's coat of mail'.

The Macrae's had a fearsome military reputation earned in bloody combats such as the Battle of the Park in 1488 where Big Duncan of the Battle Axe slew the champion of the Macdonald Lord of the Isles. After that the Macraes had to repulse several onslaughts upon Eilean Donan by Macdonald warbands. Duncan Macrae finally settled the feud in 1539 when Eilean Donan was encircled by a Macdonald fleet of more than fifty warships. Macrae's arrow hit the great chief Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat in the foot, severing his artery and hastening his death at nearby Avernish.

More devastating weapons were available when Eilean Donan was briefly the centre of European affairs in 1719. The Spanish Crown agreed to try and restore the House of Stewart and a detachment of 300 Spaniards landed in Kintail to garrison Eilean Donan. In May three English frigates sailed into Loch Duich and pulverised the castle. Eilean Donan remained a ruin until the early 20th century when it underwent a remarkable transformation at the hands of John Macrae-Gilstrap who masterminded its renaissance as the most photogenic castle in Scotland.

Tour Aberdeen, Tour Edinburgh, Tour Glasgow, Tour Inverness, Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Isle of Skye.

No comments:

Post a Comment