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Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle is one of the largest and most important medieval castles in Scotland.  Urquhart Castle stands on the shore of the Loch Ness Lake close to a village of Drumnadrochit along A82 road. Despite it present poor condition it is still one of the most visited sites in Scotland. This interest lies partially in the castle itself and partially due to numerous sightings of the legendary Nessie that said to inhabit the lake of Loch Ness. This location was used for defensive purposed for the past 4000 years. Unfortunately little information is known from the first hand accounts. The last citadel build here was no later than early 13th century. English kings Edward I captured this castle in 1296 during his campaign against the Scots of the Highlands. The castle changed several times in the course of its history. Unfortunately it was blown up in 1692 by Williamite troops to prevent rebellious Scottish Jacobite forces to use it as their stronghold. The remains of whole portions of walls are still littering of what used to be one of the best defended castles in the region.

 

 

 

Urquhart Castle

The first historical reference dates back to the time of St. Columba , in the second half of the 6th century , with a probable mention in the Life of Columba by Adamnan of Iona . This is possibly the place called Airchartdan , which Saint Columba went through during one of his visits to King Brude of the northern Picts . Columba took the opportunity to convert to Christianity to the lord of the castle and host, Emchath, and his son Virolec. However, Adamnan's reference is not really to the castle but to the "Airchartdan lands", which would indicate a territory, not a locality. In addition, no fortification is mentioned. However, there are structures dated by carbon 14 between the years 460 and 660, so it is possible that it did exist, although it is not known when it was built.

Its existence is recorded in the early thirteenth century . The area had been granted to the Durward family in 1229 and these were probably those who built the castle known today. In 1296 he was captured by Edward I of England . Sir Robert Lauder was the lord of the castle in 1329 and his grandson Robert (of the Chisholm clan ) succeeded him in 1359 . The Earl of Ross captured him for the English crown in the mid- fifteenth century but was recovered shortly after. In 1509 it was granted to the Grants , who kept it until1912 . During this period, the MacDonald captured him in 1545 and was also captured by a troop of covenanters in 1644 . The castle was partially destroyed in 1692 by the English to prevent it from being captured by the Jacobites and was never rebuilt.

It is currently owned by the Scottish National Heritage and is the third most visited site in Scotland.

 Urquhart Castle

 

 

 

 

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