Eilean Donan Castle sits at the mouth of Loch Duich, near Dornie in Wester Ross. The site has been occupied since ancient times; the remains of an Iron Age vitrified fort were visible before 20th-century restoration. A castle of enclosure was built on the site during the reign of Alexander II (1214-1249). It was intended to deter Viking incursion. By the late 13th century the castle was held by the MacKenzies. A keep or tower was added to the castle in the 14th century. As protectors of the MacKenzies, the Macraes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511.
During the Jacobite Rising of 1715, the castle was garrisoned with English troops but was later taken by the Jacobites. In 1719 it was attacked by government warships and the castle ruins were left abandoned. In 1911 the castle was bought by John MacRae-Gilstrap who carried out a programme of reconstruction over the following 20 years. It is now rebuilt and is a museum with items relating to its former owners, the Mackenzie Earls of Seaforth and the Macraes. Today, it is the one of the commercial media's most favourite images of the Highlands. To find out more, visit www.eileandonancastle.com
The castle restored in the 20th century by John MacRae-Gilstrap
The castle in ruins after being bombarded by british warships