Keiss Castle, Caithness
North of Wick
Near KW1 4XB
Set dramatically on the edge of a high cliff looking out to the North Sea, Castle Keiss is an interesting variation 'Z' plan tower house. Silhouetted against blue shoreline, the ruins of this castle are quite beautiful, and on closer inspection several fascinating features. Sadly, much of the castle was destroyed when the lower parts of the cliff fell into the sea.
Access to the castle by footpaths from the busy main road is not an obvious one, and sadly one that defeated our attempts.
~ History ~
1580's ~ Keiss Castle is built by Sir George Sinclair, 5th Earl of Caithness on the site of a former fortress called Raddar.
1677 ~ Together with the childless death of George Sinclair, 6th Earl of Caithness, the title, and all his possessions pass to John Campbell of Glenorchy as part of payments of debts which George Sinclair had with Campbell.
1681 ~ The grandson of George Sinclair, 5th Earl of Caithness, also George, received confirmation of their rights, both the title and all the family possessions. As compensation John Campbell is appointed to the 1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland.
1700 ~ Castle Keiss is already quite damaged.
1726 ~ Unsuccessful attempts at reconstruction are made on the castle.
1755 ~ The castle is finally abandoned.