Death of the chatelaine of popular tourist attraction, Dunrobin Castle in Scottish Highlands

Dunrobin Castle, Golspie, Sutherland.

The Countess of Sutherland, Scottish aristocrat and owner of large tracts of the Highlands, died on December 10th 2019, age 98 years. 

The earls of Sutherland can trace their ancestry back to Freskin de Moravia in 1160 but the family will be remembered for the infamous Highland Clearances in the 19th century when more than 5,000 crofters (tenant farmers) were 'cleared' from Sutherland lands to make way for sheep farming with the dispossessed sent to the coast to work in the fishing industry whilst others emigrated to North America and Australasia.The Sutherland family was not alone in evicting tenants but it is the ruthless manner in which such evictions were implemented that still resonates in the highland communities today. One woman died when here house was burned down whilst she was still inside.

In recent times the Sutherlands have made great strides to rehabilitate their reputation in the local communities. The family seat of Dunrobin Castle is now a major tourist attraction in the region.

The title passes to the Countesses son, Alistair, a former policeman.

Here is summary information on Dunrobin Castle::
  • Situated near the village of Golspie on the eastern coast, about 52 miles north of Inverness.
  • The names translates as ‘ridge of the long grass’.
  • Evolved from a medieval fortified square keep (which remains at heart of the castle). This was progressively embellished and extended culminating in the 1845 Scottish Baronial structure now evident.
  • Associated with aristocratic titles Earl of Sutherland and Duke of Sutherland.
  • Seat of the Chief of Clan Sutherland. (Note that the Clan crest is the cat salient proper.)
  • The castle interior comprises 189 rooms.
  • Open for visitors between April and October. Facilities include gardens, falconry demonstrations and a museum.
  • A venue for weddings.

Garden at Dunrobin Castle.

Falconry Display at Dunrobin Castle

Feline view of Garden at Dunrobin Castle.

Other relevant information:

To the west of Dunrobin Castle, on the summit of mountain, Ben Bhraggie, can be seen a 76 foot high statue of the First Duke of Sutherland (1758-1833). The statue is controversial owing to the First Duke being at the heart of the 'clearance' policy described above. Paradoxically, the Duke's statute was paid for by subscriptions from the local communities, not the Sutherland family.

Duke of Sutherland Statue


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