Forse Castle, Caithness
4.5 miles Noth West of Dunbeath, South West of Lybster
Nr KW5 6WZ
Beautifully situated on a very steep and 150 feet high cliffs over the crashing North Sea below is the dramatic ruins of Forse Castle, one of the oldest stone fortresses in Scotland.
The main part of the castle Forse was a not very large, probably two-storey tower.
The only entrance to the tower was on the first-floor level, from the sea or the south side of the castle, with a wooden staircase easily removed in times of danger.
The courtyard to the castle was near triangular in shape due to the shape of the small headland upon it has been built, with sheer drop to the rocks below from its walls.
Additional living space was provided from the courtyard. On each of the floors were originally three rooms.
The only access to the castle Forse is from the north side by a fairly narrow causeway. Additional protection was the addition broad and fairly deep moat with drawbridge.
Today you will need to use your imagination using the description above to rebuild the castle in your mind when visiting this fabulous ancient ruin.
The is a footpath from the road with a reasonable walking distance to the castle that is well worth the visit, as the cliffside scenery on a clear day is simply stunning.
~ History ~
1120's ~ A stone castle is built on a headland overlooking the sea.
1300's ~ Forse Castle is owned by the de Cheyne family. During this time further building work is undertaken.
1354 ~ Following the death of Sir Reginald de Cheyne, one of his two daughters named Mariot, marries John Keith, the second son of
Sir Edward Keith, the Grand Marshal of Scotland.
Forse Castle is part of Mariots dowry lands.
With time the castle passes to the family Sutherland, descendants of 4th Earl of Sutherland, whom Sir Reginald's second daughter marries into.
1660 ~ The Sutherlands of Forse move their principal seat to a new home built nearby, that presents a more comfortable home than the stone castle build upon the clifftops with crashing waves below and the weather afforded to such a location high above the North Sea.
1909 ~ The last male descendant of the Sutherlands of Forse - John William Sutherland, the 18th Laird Forse dies.