Friday, 20 March 2015

Armadale Castle

The Clan Donald became established on the Isle of Skye in the 15th century. Armadale Castle is on the southern side of the island in the lands of Sleat. The legendary Flora MacDonald came to Armadale after helping Bonnie Prince Charlie and was arrested nearby. She later married at Armadale. The present house, designed by James Gillespie Graham was built for Lord MacDonald of Sleat in 1815.

In 1855 fire destroyed much of the original castle which was replaced by the current central section designed by David Bryce in 1858. In 1925 the MacDonald family moved out to a smaller house nearby leaving the roofless Armadale Castle open to the elements.

The original entrance to the castle, now described as a 'sculptured' ruin is a popular wedding venue. The grand Imperial Staircase makes a dramatic backdrop to the ceremonies while the views across to the Knoydart Peninsula  are unrivalled.

In 1971 the ruined castle and the 20 000 acre estate were bought by the Clan Donald Society who opened it  up to visitors and founded the Museum of the Isles.