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CastleUK Blog 2011

Castle UK Blog 2011 October PageA place where I can record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.

This months Scottish castles and mottes, are from Inverness-shire and Nairnshire.

In September we went to Hastings but not for a castle hunt, although I did mange to find part of the old town wall. We visited the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, which was a bit of a hunt but there wasn't any castles only old houses. Standing in 40 acres of beautiful Sussex countryside is the leading museum of historic English buildings, you can wander amongst period gardens, farm animals, woodland walks and the fascinating collection of historic buildings dating from the 13th to the 19th century. It's all very well done and there's enough space to put the houses that would have stood on there own, on there own, so there's lots of walking.
It's late September and the weather's beautiful, Chris.

For more information, click on the pictures.

Brodie Castle Wallpaper
Brodie Castle, OS 27/NH 979-578 Moray Scotland, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken in September 2010, on the Inverness/Culloden monster 6 day castle/battle hunt. The view is of the mid 16th century south-west tower and the substantial wings that were added in the 17th to 19th century. The site is owned by The National Trust for Scotland and offers holiday accommodation. The castle is open daily, April 11:00-4:30pm, July and August 11:00-5:00pm, Sunday to Thursday, May, June, September and October 11:00-4:30pm. It's a good un, just go.
Caisteal MaolCaisteal Maol, OS 33/NG 758-263 Inverness-shire Scotland.
Is a rectangular late 15th or early 16th century stone tower house, founded by the MacKinnons of Strath or Strathordil. Standing conspicuous on a rocky knoll that juts out into Kyle Akin, in medieval documents the castle was called Dunakin. Probably of three storey and a garret, in 1513 a great meeting of chiefs was held here, in an attempt to make Donald MacDonald, Lord of the Isles.
The site is freely accessible in daylight hours, there's a nice little walk to this castle but we didn't have the heart to walk it, it was a funny old hunt.
CantraydouneCantraydoune, OS 27/NH 789-461 Nairnshire Scotland.
Is a 12th century earthwork motte, possibly founded by Freskyn de Moravia. Standing above the face of a natural slope, the summit of the sandy mound is uneven and unusually a small flattened area projects northwards. Encased on three sides by a low retaining stone wall and the remains of a ditch, the Burn of Cantraydoune gives defence to the east.
The site is visible from the road but as you can see from the pictures, I had a little walk around the field. This is a big old motte and it's always better if you get up close.
Dooket HillDooket Hill, OS 27/NH 917-556 Nairnshire Scotland.
Was originally a mid 12th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by William the Lion. In the 1180s Gillecolm of Maddertie its constable, betrayed the royal castle of Eren to the forces of Donald MacWilliam, who then probably destroyed its fortifications. In 1308 the Earl of Ross submitted to Robert Bruce here and in 1645 before the Battle of Auldearn, the Marquis of Montrose raised the Royal Standard on the mound.
This big motte is freely accessible in daylight hours and the size of it says castle built by a king. It's a good one to walk round, nice views, nice doocot.
Dun ScaichDun Scaich, OS 32/NG 595-121 Inverness-shire Scotland.
Is a 14th century stone castle of enclosure, founded by the MacLeods. Standing on the north angle of Ob Garscavaig, its curtain walls encase the summit of a rocky outcrop, that was possibly crowned by an earlier structure. In the early 15th century, the castle was the principal seat of the Macdonalds of Sleat but after a rebellion in 1431 it was occupied by the forces of King James I.
The site is visible from the road but this is another one you can walk to. But by the time we got here, we just wanted to get back to the hotel, the 2 hour plus drive there and back was just to far to enjoy all of the day.
Knock CastleKnock Castle, OS 32/NG 671-087 Inverness-shire Scotland.
Is a rectangular late 14th century stone tower house, founded by the MacLeods. Standing on a steep rocky knoll that juts out into Knock Bay, this headland is possibly the site of Dun Horavaig, an Iron Age fort. Its landward approach is defended by a ditch and along with Dun Scaich, Knock became a Macdonald of Sleat stronghold in the early 15th century. After a rebellion in 1431 it was occupied by the forces of King James I, besieged by Alastair Crotach MacLeod, it was returned to the Macdonalds in 1596.
The site is visible from the road but again it's must be possible to get closer to it.

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