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Thursday, 19 July 2007

Best Scottish Tours of Duntulm Castle

Best Scottish Tours of Duntulm Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The ancient seat of the MacDonalds of the Isles now lies reduced to little more than a pile of rubble on Skye's north-western seaboard. As early as 1540 Duntulm's strength and its commanding position had come to the attention of Jamcs V on his voyage around the western Highlands. Forty years later, Skene's Celtic Scotland also made mention of the castle's good state of repair. It is not clear, however, who actually occupied the castle at this time. It may simply have been a territorial stronghold or the residence of the baillie of Trotternish. Several of the Gaelic names for the hills nearby suggest that the castle was a centre for meeting out justice, some of it very rough.

Traditionally, of course. Duntulm is a MacDonald stronghold, the territory having been eventually bestowed on the clan after decades of interclan warfare with the MacLeods. First mention of a MacDonald chief occupying the castle is in 1616, when Donald Gorm set about improving the existing building and making it a fit place for one in his position. He may indeed have moved here from Dunscaith Castle in the Sleat peninsula to establish a strong MacDonald presence in the area.

During this period the castle enjoyed its finest hour, with a retinue of soldiers, musicians, jesters, smiths, sailors and their galleons. However, this period of prosperity was relatively short-lived. Around 1730 the MacDonalds decided to abandon the castle for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. One suggestion involves the infamous Donald Gorm, whose ghost is said to have made life particularly unpleasant for the castle's residents. Another concerns the young son of the chief at that time, who was accidentally dropped to his death from a castle window. The tragedy so upset the chief that he decided to establish a new home at Monkstadt, some four miles away, using stones from the castle walls. Thus began the gradual demise of Duntulm Castle. In the 19th century part of its walls was blown up to provide stones for a local tenant.

Duntulm, however, is worth more than a passing glance on the drive north, not only for its proud proud history, but also for its magnificent setting and views to the Outer Hebrides. Best Scottish Tours of Duntulm Castle.

In this book, the castles of Hebridean myth and story are brought to life in a scholarly yet easy-to-read text. Roger Miket explores the history and architecture of the settings associated with blood-curdling dramas such as the murderous goings-on at Dun Sgaith or the far-fetched yarns of Saucy Mary and Cu Chulainn. Many of the castles are shown in reconstruction and all the architectural descriptions are fully illustrated making them clear to both expert and amateur historians. Together with the earlier broachs and duns, the castles are the principal material survivals of the great pageant of Hebridean history. The Mediaeval Castles of Skye and Lochalsh.

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