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Armadale Castle

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Armadale Castle is situated on the Isle of Skye, under 1 mile north of the ferry port of Armadale, 20 miles south of the Skye Bridge. Open 1 April – 31 October daily, 9.30 – 17.30 with an entrance fee. View the website for winter opening days / times. Postcode: IV45 8RS

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The images top right are of the entrance Visitor Centre and Gift Shop.

The third image is of the first view of Armadale Castle from the drive.

The fourth image is of Armadale Castle from the lawn. From here, you get good views over Armadale Pier where the Ferries from Mallaig on the Scottish mainland dock. The crossing takes about 30 minutes.

In the Castle grounds is the Museum of the Isles, a modern museum giving information on the history of the Islands, Island Clans, and Battles.

By the entrance to Armadale Castle is a Cafe / Diner, in the former Stable Building of the Castle.

Armadale Castle History

800s - Vikings began taking control of Skye and most other Scottish Islands.

1100s - Scots Kings began forcing the Vikings out of the Islands. Scots Kings from that time used Scots Clans to help them gain, and keep control of all Scotland.

Many Scots Clans had long running feuds with neighbouring Clans, often lasting hundreds of years. Many of these feuds only ended through marriage, or laws in the 1500s to 1700s being enforced more vigorously, leading to people murdering their neighbour being sentenced to a gruesome execution in a public place. The Maiden Guillotine in Edinburgh was used to execute a number of prominent Clan members.

1200s - Clan Donald is a prominent Clan in the Western Isles of Scotland, descendants of Vikings that claimed to be Kings of the Isles.

1200s - Clan MacLeod took control of Dunvegan in the north of Skye. This Clan was probably descended from Vikings.

1400s - Clan Donald arrive on the Isle of Skye with Castles on the south of Skye named Dunskaith and Knock. Their Duntulm Castle was in the north of Skye. These three Castles are now in ruin.

Clan Donald and Clan MacLeod had many battles fighting over Castles and land. Marriage was used to try and unite the two Clans but failed, leading to more battles. Intervention by the Government led to peace between the two Clans from 1603.

1650s - Clan Donald Chiefs began living at Armadale in a building named Armadalebeg.

1690s - Armadalebeg was destroyed by Government forces after Clan Donald supported an early Jacobite Rising. A new building was built soon after for Clan Donald.

1728 - the widowed mother of Flora Macdonald married Hugh Macdonald of Armadale.

1746 - Clan Donald and Clan MacLeod of Skye supported the Government in the 45 Jacobite Rebellion. Many other Clan Donald and Clan MacLeod, from other areas, fought on the Jacobite side at the Battle of Culloden.

1746 - Flora Macdonald helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape to France after the failed Jacobite Rising of that year. This led to Flora being locked up in the Tower of London until the following year.

Clans that fought for the Jacobite's in the 1745 rebellion were then persecuted by having their homes destroyed, cattle killed, and encouraged to emigrate.

Clans that supported the Government, held on to their Castles, Land, Titles and Wealth.

1750 - Flora Macdonald was married to Allan MacDonald at Armadalebeg.

1790 - a new Mansion House was built on this site to replace the original building.

1815 - a Scottish baronial style Castle was built next to the Mansion House to designs of James Gillespie Graham.

1855 - part of the Castle was destroyed by fire. It was replaced with a design by David Bryce.

1925 - the Castle was abandoned by the Macdonald's as it fell into disrepair.

1971 - the Castle and surrounding 20,000 acre estate were bought by the Clan Donald Lands Trust.

1975 - the Mansion was used for the Museum of the Isles. The Castle Ruin and Gardens have since served as a visitor attraction.

1981 - the unstable Gothic Wing of the Castle was demolishing, leaving just the Grand Entrance.

2002 - The New Museum of the Isles was completed a short walk up behind Armadale Castle. The Mansion was then converted to serve as a Wedding Venue and Conference Centre.

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Armadale Castle Photos