Urquhart Castle 15 miles from
A thousand years of history
Urquhart Castle dominates a rocky promontory jutting into Loch Ness. That promontory has hosted some famous names in its long history.
St Columba visited with peaceful intent around AD 580. Not so the English, who seized the castle in 1296. Nor the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles, who stormed through the glen time and again in the later Middle Ages, ruling with a rod of iron from the mighty castle.
In the twilight of its days as a seat of the chief of Clan Grant, Urquhart continued to prove its worth. It was last garrisoned in 1692, and legend claims that the towering gatehouse was blown up so that the castle could never again be a military stronghold. Over a thousand years of stirring history were buried beneath the rubble.
The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness, remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.
Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen.
Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to 17th centuries was particularly bloody. Following Edward I’s invasion, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 14th century, it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles.
The castle’s history and that of the noble families – Durward, MacDonald and Grant – who held it, is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The Centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle.
Visitors can relax in the café and visit the shop with its local crafts. The visitor centre contains retail, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets on one level. Stunning views of the loch can be obtained from visitor centre veranda.
Contact detailsUrquhart Castle 15 miles from, Fort Augustus,
Drumnadrochit Loch Ness IV63 6XJ, +57.324482 -4.441459
Tel 01456 450 551
Web http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertyoverview.htm?PropID=PL_297&PropName=Urquhart Castle