GB-302974 416 - ая открытка

Country: United Kingdom

Distance: 1,442 km

Travel time:  7 days

On postcard: Eilean Donan castle

Early history

The presence of a vitrified fort was recorded on the island in 1912, though the nature of any early fortification is uncertain. In the 13th century, a large curtain-wall castle (wall of enceinte) was constructed. At this time the area was at the boundary of the Norse-Celtic Lordship of the Isles and the Earldom of Ross: Eilean Donan provided a strong defensive position against Norse expeditions. By the late 13th century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail (later the Earls of Seaforth), who were vassals of the Earls of Ross. A tower house or keep was built at the north-east corner in the 14th century, and in the 15th century a smaller defensive enclosure. Having lost control in the 14th century, the Mackenzies obtained a charter of Eilean Donan in 1509, and in 1511 the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the castle.

In 1539 Iain Dubh Matheson, chief of the Clan Matheson, died whilst defending the castle against the Clan MacDonald of Sleat on behalf of Clan Macrae and Clan Mackenzie.

Jacobite rising and destruction of the castle

Following the failure of the Jacobite rising of 1715, the Jacobites, supporters of the exiled James Stuart, the "Old Pretender", sought new support from Spain. An advance party of 300 Spanish soldiers arrived in Loch Duich in April 1719, and occupied Eilean Donan Castle. The expected uprising of Highlanders did not occur, and the main Spanish invasion force never arrived.

At the beginning of May, the Royal Navy sent ships to the area. Early in the morning on Sunday 10 May, HMS Worcester, HMS Flamborough, and HMS Enterprise, anchored off Eilean Donan, and sent a boat ashore under a flag of truce to negotiate. When the Spanish soldiers in the castle fired at the boat, it was recalled and all three ships opened fire on the castle for an hour or more. The next day the bombardment continued while a landing party was prepared. In the evening, under the cover of an intense cannonade, the ships' boats went ashore and captured the castle against little resistance. According to HMS Worcester's log, in the castle they found "an Irishman, a captain, a Spanish lieutenant, a sergeant, one Scots rebel and 39 Spanish soldiers, 343 barrels of powder and 52 barrels of musquet shot". The naval force spent the next two days demolishing the castle (it took 27 barrels of gunpowder). The Spanish prisoners were put on board HMS Flamborough and taken to Edinburgh. The remaining Spanish troops were defeated on 10 June at the Battle of Glen Shiel.


Castle ruins, sometime before 1911

The castle was rebuilt in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap. The restoration included the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle. In 1983 The Conchra Charitable Trust was formed by the Macrae family to care for the castle. A curious distinction is that it has one of only two left-handed spiral staircases in a castle in Great Britain, as the reigning king at the time of building held a sword with his left hand. Another distinction of the castle today is the grey field gun from World War I, positioned outside the building by a war memorial and fountain dedicated to the men of the Macrae clan who died in the war.

Media and the arts

The castle is one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland and a popular venue for weddings and film locations. It has appeared in such films as The Master of Ballantrae (1953), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), Highlander (1986), Mio in the Land of Faraway (1987), Loch Ness (1996),  Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Entrapment (1999), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Made of Honor (2007) and in the television series The New Avengers (1976) and Oliver's Travels (1995).

It also appears on the cover of Secret Garden's album Dreamcatcher (2000) and the Brandywine Celtic Harp Orchestra's CD, Celtic Journeys (2008).

The castle is also featured in several of BBC One's famous "Balloon" network ID clips.



0 коммент.:

Отправить комментарий