INVERGARRY CASTLE

Inverness-shire

Invergarry Castle, Inverness-shire

Standing on Creagan an Fhithich (The Raven's Rock) overlooking Loch Oich the precise building date of the Clan Donald Castle here is uncertain, but is thought to date from 1602. It is an L-shaped tower house in typical Scots style for the time.

Most of the action at the Castle seems to have come from people passing through. In 1654 General Monck's troops burnt the castle but it was back in use by 1663 when the muderers (probably scapegoats) of Alasdair MacDonell had their seven severed heads displayed here briefly on their way to Edinburgh.

In 1689 some Jacobite troops took refuge in the Castle where they stayed for some time. Government troops under Captain Ramsay arrived and besieged the Castle but after both Ramsay and a trooper were shot dead they retreated to Inverness. Inevitably, this annoyed the Government troops and they came back again within months and took the Castle.

It stayed in Government hands until Glengarry took the castle in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. He held it for just a year and as the troops took the castle back in 1716 it was accidentally burnt (again) and reduced to a shell.

In 1727 an Englishman named Rawlinson lived in the repaired castle but he was ousted by angry MacDonald clansmen and Glengarry once again occupied the Castle in 1731. Not many years later Bonnie Prince Charlie visited the Castle on his way from Glenfinnan to raise troops for the second Jacobite Rebellion. After the defeat at Culloden the Duke of Cumberland's troops arrived at Invergarry Castle and burnt it once more.

This was the last time the Castle was occupied, but it still played a symbolic role in the life of the MacDonnells right up until the early 1800s when the last of the family was taken on a traditional Clan funeral from here to Glenfinnan. Descendants still hold the Glengarry title, but now don't live in the area.

Today the ruins of Invergarry Castle stand in the grounds of the Glengarry Hotel.

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2009


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