• Home
  • Borve Castle, Sutherland

Borve Castle, Sutherland

Ruined Mackay castle on superb position overlooking the sea near Farr on Sutherland North coast. Now ruined. Walk from Farr

The castle, which may have originally been constructed by a Norseman by the name of Torquil, was a stronghold of Clan Mackay that they used as a base to carry out raids on their neighbours the Clan Sutherland. The Mackays failed to appear in front of Mary of Guise, the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, and as a result the John Gordon, 11th Earl of Sutherland, chief of Clan Sutherland was ordered to destroy the castle. Guise hired a private ship, the Lion in August 1554 to attack the Castle. Sir Hew Kennedy of Girvanmains, the Earl's stepfather (or Stepbrother), embarked 50 men of war and the royal gunner Hans Cochrane with a cannon. It is also said that a cannon was dragged all the way from Edinburgh. Rory Mor Mackay, Captain of the castle was apparently dismayed to see that the enemy was armed with a cannon as the castle had withstood all previous sieges. The castle was destroyed and Rory Mor Mackay was hanged. In November Kennedy returned to Edinburgh with Iye Du Mackay, 12th of Strathnaver who was imprisoned in Dumbarton and then Edinburgh Castle.

After Borve Castle was destroyed a force from the Clan Mackay assembled under John Mor Mackay and engaged in battle with the Clan Sutherland, known as the Battle of Garbharry where the Mackays were defeated. This was the last battle between the clans Sutherland and Mackay

Opening Times

Walk up

Related Clans


Travel Directions to Borve Castle, Sutherland

Travel Directions

Park in Farr off the A838 and then walk North East towards the cliffs. There is a path that leads some of the way there but not all

Visitor Attractions

blog comments powered by Disqus