Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle by Loch NessUrquhart Castle is situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness along the A82 just south of the village of Drumnadrochit. The castle is managed by Historic Scotland and saw the opening of a new vistor centre in 2002.

Visitor facilities include a shop, cafe and several audio visual displays. There is also a good sized car park.

The castle was built in the early part of the 13th century the site possibly having earlier been a Pictish fort. Control of the castle changed hands many times through the centuries.

The English King Edward I seized the castle in 1296 but possession passed between English and Scots a number of times at one point being under control of Robert the Bruce.

From the 1390s the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles and the Scottish Crown alternated as masters of Urquhart Castle over a period stretching some 150 years.

The castle last saw action during the uprising against King William in 1689 when the defenders loyal to the monarchy held off a much larger force of Jacobites. When the last soldiers left in 1892 they blew up the castle rather than take the risk of allowing it to fall into enemy hands.

For many years Urquhart Castle was also the seat of the Clan Grant and remained in their ownership till 1912. The castle is presently owned by the National Trust for Scotland.