Dunvegan Castle on Isle of Skye, a destination for persons wishing to connect with Clan MacLeod
This evening, I am focusing on MacLeod of MacLeod the chiefs of which have occupied Dunvegan Castle ( above and below) on Isle of Skye for twenty generations. Over this long period of occupation the MacLeods have hemorrhaged some of their extensive lands due to inadequate (or non-existent) legal titles.
The MacLeods adhered to the Roman Catholic faith during turbulent times in the 17th and 18th centuries. They fought for the Royalist cause in the Civil War of the 17th century and suffered huge losses at the Battle of Worcester (England\) in 1651. However, the MacLeods are perhaps best known for their cultural achievements, viz:
- 8th Chief, Alasdair Crotach, rebuilt the church of Rodel on Harris, built the Fairy Tower at Dunvegan and encouraged piping.
- 15th Chief, Sir Roderick MacLeod encouraged pibroch (musical compositions), famous Gaelic harpist Roderick Morrison and poet Mary MacLeod.
- 22nd Chief hosted Samuel Johnson (English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer) and James Boswell (Scottish biographer, diarist, and lawyer) at Dunvegan during their Hebridean tour in 1773 thus emphasising the importance of Dunvegan at the time.
Hugh Magnus MacLeod of MacLeod (born 1973) is Chief of Clan MacLeod and is currently representing the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies in the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. He is also recognized Chief of the Name and Arms of MacLeod, in Scotland and the United Kingdom, by the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Battle of Culloden, 1746
During the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, the clan's main branch supported the British Government.whilst Clan MacLeod of Raasay (an island between Skye and the mainland) were strong Jacobite sympathisers who fought for the House of Stuart and helped to hide and transport the exiled Prince ('Bonnie' Prince Charlie) to safety. Culloden was the last battle on British soil and where the Jacobites (Highlanders) were finally vanquished.
For MacLaeods and others who wish to connect with MacLeod heritage then a visit to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye is a 'must'. This is an extremely popular visitor attraction on Skye which includes a well maintained Highland garden and regular boat trips to a local seal colony. Check website for details. The castle is about twenty-two miles west of Portree, the principal town on Skye.
Main entrance to castle
Garden at Dunvegan
Common seals at Dunvegan