Loch An Eilean Castle, Highlands
Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus
Loch An Eilean is a 14th century castle located in a beautiful spot, built on an island within a fabulous woodland park. A short walk from the car park takes you towards the loch. There was once a causeway to the castle, now long since submerged beneath the rising level of the loch.
The original castle was built by the Bishops of Moray in the 13th century before being rebuilt in the following century.
Today the castle's residence are Osprey's and other wild fowl encouraged to nest within its crumbling walls.
The woodland walks make for a lovely day out, recommended.
~ History ~
1382 ~ Isabella, Countess of Mar, is seized at Kildrummy Castle by Sir Alexander Stewart, son of the wolf of Badenoch, who obtains the Earldom after forcing her to marry him. He has Isabella's husband kidnapped from Kindrochit Castle. Alexander and Isabella live apart and he is criticised by the Bishop of Moray who excommunicates him. He builds himself a tower house on the island.
1390 ~ Alexander's infamous violent temper finally leads him into direct confrontation with the bishop in burning Forres and the city and cathedral of Elgin.
1527 ~ James Malcolmson flees 'to the island of the lake of Rothiemurchus' to escape being murdered, only to be pursued and killed by the Mackintoshes.
1567 ~ The castle is passes from the Gordon's to the Grants.
1600 ~ Patrick Grant of Rothiemurchus builds a connection curtain wall between the hall house and the lower tower to increase security.
1690 ~ The castle is attacked by Jacobite's after their defeat in Cromdale, but is successfully defended against them.
1715 ~ Mackintosh of Balnespick is confined at the castle to prevent him opposing the Jacobite's.
1746 ~ Following the Jacobite's defeat at the Battle of Culloden, fugitives receive shelter from Jean Gordon within its stout walls.
1770's ~ The island, on which the castle sits proudly, decreases when a sluice built to enable felled timber to be floated down the Spey, raises the water level. In doing so the zigzag causeway once connecting the castle to the shore is submerged.