Ruined castle that stands on its own promontory overlooking Loch Assynt. Not as old as you might expect but with its wonderful position such a romantic castle...

Ardvreck Castle was a rectangular-shaped keep comprising of three storeys. Under the castle the vaulted basement is pierced by gunloops and the round stair turret is corbelled out to support a square caphouse. Despite the small size of the ruined tower, Ardvreck was originally a large and imposing structure and it is believed the castle included both a walled garden and a formal courtyard. The remains of these foundations can still be seen and cover an extensive area. Unfortunately, all that remains today is the tower and part of a defensive wall.

The castle is thought to have been constructed around 1590 by the Clan MacLeod family who owned Assynt.

The most well known historical event that includes the castle concerns the Royalist hero James Graham, Marquis of Montrosse who was captured and held at the castle before being transported to Edinburgh for trial and executionon April 30th 1650. The Marquis of Montrose was a Royalist, fighting on the side of Charles I against the Covenanters. After being defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale, he sought sanctuary at Ardvreck with Neil MacLeod of Assynt. Macleod was absent and it is said that his wife, Christine, tricked Montrose into the castle dungeon and sent for troops of the Covenanter Government. Montrose was taken to Edinburgh, where he was executed on 21 May 1650, using the traditional method for traitors: hanging, drawing and quartering.

Ardvreck Castle was attacked and captured by the Clan MacKenzie in 1672, who took control of the Assynt lands. In 1726 they constructed a more modern manor house nearby, Calda House, which takes its name from the Calda burn beside which it stands. The house burned down under mysterious circumstances one night in 1737 and both nearby Calda House and Ardvreck Castle stand as ruins today.

MacLennan Macleod
Inchnadamph Loch Assynt & Inchnadamph Lochinver
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Friday, 11 May 2012 4 Print