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Dunrobin Castle

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Dunrobin Castle is situated 53 miles north of Inverness, 12 miles north of Dornoch, on the northeast coast of Scotland.

The Castle, Museum, and Gardens are open for visits with an entrance fee from 1st April to 31st October, about 10.00am - 17.00pm. Postcode: KW10 6SF.

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The earliest parts of Dunrobin Castle were built for the Earls of Sutherland in the 1200s? The Earls of Sutherland were from Clan de Moravia / Murray from 1210 to 1500, Clan Gordon from 1500 to 1765, then the Leveson-Gower family from 1765 till today.

Dunrobin Castle History

600s? - there is thought to have been a Wooden Fort on this site.

1100s - a Flemish nobleman named Freskin settled in Scotland during the reign of King David I. Freskin's descendants were the de Moravia, a name that changed through time to Murray and Sutherland.

1230 - the Earldom of Sutherland was created for William de Moravia. The earliest parts of Dunrobin Castle may have been built around this time, as William is said to have died at Dunrobin Castle.

1401 - the first records of Dunrobin Castle are made stating it was a Tower House with walls 6 feet thick.

1500s early - the Earldom of Sutherland passed to the Gordon's through marriage.

1518 - Alexander Sutherland captured the Castle in an attempt to return the Castle to the Murray's. After Alexander was captured by the Gordon's, they cut his head off so it could be displayed on a pike from the top of the Castle.

1700s - the 17th Earl of Sutherland changed his surname from Gordon to Sutherland.

1745 - during the Third Jacobite Rising, the Jacobite's took Dunrobin Castle as the Sutherland's were supporting the British Government. The 17th Earl escaped Dunrobin, fleeing to Aberdeen where he joined Government Forces.

1746 - the Jacobite's were defeated at the Battle of Culloden, last Battle on the British mainland, leading to more peaceful times.

1700s late - the more peaceful times led to many Castles being converted to Mansions, or Mansions built on the Estate with the Castles abandoned.

1772 - the Sutherland's began forcing small scale Tenant Farmers off their Land so they could experiment with larger scale Sheep and Crop Farming.

1785 - Elizabeth Sutherland married George Granville Leveson-Gower, leading to the Leveson-Gower's becoming the Dukes and Duchesses of Sutherland.

1807 - Elizabeth Sutherland had about 300 farmers removed to make way for the first large Sheep Farm in the area. These acts became known as the Clearances with thousands of people forced to move to Towns and Cities, or to Emigrate to the Americas.

1835 to 1850 - the 2nd Duke of Sutherland had Dunrobin Castle remodeled in the Scottish Baronial style to designs of Sir Charles Barry. Sir Charles was famous for designing the Palace of Westminster / House of Commons in London.

The New Buildings were built around the original Tower House.

1870 - the Dunrobin Castle Railway Station was opened as a private station for the Castle. This Rail Line runs between Inverness and Thurso.

1915 - the Castle was used as a Naval Hospital.

1965 to 1972 - the Castle was used as a Boarding School for boys.

1973 - Dunrobin Castle, Museum, and Gardens were opened to the public. The Sutherland family still live at the Castle in Private Accommodation.

2007 - a Clearances Monument was erected at Helmsdale Village 16 miles north of Dunrobin Castle.

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Dunrobin Castle Photos