Castle Urquhart, Loch Ness, Scotland


(Reenactment medieval guard)


Castle Urquhart is located in the Scottish Highlands near Inverness on the western bank of Loch Ness.

This site attracts high volumes of tourist visitors as it provides an excellent platform for viewing Loch Ness and its elusive monster.This is a quality site with much to offer including a short, introductory film, refreshment facilities, gift shop and stunning views over the Loch.

 
There has been a fortification on the site for about 1500 years, dating back to Pictish times. Like the vast majority of surviving stone castles in the British Isles, Urquhart has its genesis in the 13th century. Initially under control of Alan Durward the castle was extended by the powerful Comyns after 1275. Subsequent milestones:
  • Oscillated between English and Scottish control during the 14th century Wars of Independence.
  • Post 1390, the threat came from the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles in the West of Scotland.
  • Captured by the MacDonalds in 1452 but regained by the Scottish Crown four years later.
  • Plundered by MacDonald clansmen in 1544-5
  • Partly blown up by defenders at time of Jacobite uprising in 1689 to prevent opponents gaining advantage.
  • Subsequently a deteriorating and romantic ruin.
Trebuchet

The facilities of this once great castle were extensive and included:
  • Ditch and drawbridge.
  • Gatehouse
  • Guard Room
  • Constable’s Lodging
  • Water Gate
  • Outer Close
  • Chapel
  • Great Hall
  • Inner Close
  • Grant Tower, as shown below. This is the most prominent feature and named after the Grant family who held the castle in the early 16th century.
The Grant Tower below attracts many visitors who climb the narrow stairs to the top to benefit from the stunning views over the loch.

View south from Grant Tower

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