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The Chatelaine's Scottish Castles

Ardvreck Castle

Loch Assynt, Sutherland

Ardvreck Castle photo
View from the south, looking north. In the background the mountain Quinag towers above the castle.

Some 25 miles north of Ullapool in the NW Highlands and not far from Inchnadamph stand the remains of Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt. Visibly a three-storey construction, it is thought to have been built in 1590/91 by the Macleods who owned Assynt since the 13th century.

photo photo
Photos copyright Daniel Mackenzie-WintersDaniel Mackenzie-Winters September 1999

The loser of the Battle of Carbisdale, the Marquis of Montrose was captured around here in 1650 - the stories vary as to what exactly transpired - and it is believed he was held in the castle before being sent to Edinburgh for execution.

Not long after this, the Mackenzies came to the area and built nearby Calda House. In the 18th century Calda and Ardvreck were both destroyed by fire. Legend has it that a wicked old dowager lived in the castle for many years. It was apparently struck by lightning after 5 years of poor harvests and difficult fishing which many believed was proof that the old woman had put a curse on the region.

More info about the castle is available from
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland
Historic Assynt
Discover Assynt

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The Chatelaine's Scottish Castles web site copyright 1997-2017 The Internet Guide to Scotland
Not to be reproduced without permission
Upper 3 photos copyright Daniel Mackenzie-WintersDaniel Mackenzie-Winters September 1999
Lower 2 photos copyright Joan Bos and Nicholas Coleman