Ardvreck Castle

Ardvreck Castle is a ruin which sits on a promontory in Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Scotland. This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful areas of Scotland. The castle was built by the MacLeod Clan in the 1590s. The MacLeods had control of this area from the late 14th Century. The most famous tale relating to this castle involves James Graham, Marquis of Montrose. He was captured and imprisoned here in 1650 then later taken to Edinburgh and executed. He was a Royalist fighting on the side of Charles I against the Covenanters. Having lost a battle nearby, he sought refuge with the MacLeods. Neil MacLeod was away and apparently his wife Christine had Montrose imprisoned.


Ardvreck was attacked and taken by the MacKenzie Clan in 1672. They also took all the Assynt lands. They lived here at the castle until 1726 when they built a manor house nearby, Calda House, which also now stands in ruins after a fire in 1737.
 The walk to the castle was a mini adventure in itself. Water from the loch had flooded the walkway a slight bit. Before we left the rain came, chasing us back to the car.


The whole Assynt area is truly breathtaking, especially with the mist lurking about the mountains. Before reaching Ardvreck, we stopped at a lookout hoping to see Ben More Assynt (which means "big mountain of Assynt" in Gaelic) in the distance. The mountain is 3274 feet high and is the tallest mountain in Sutherland. But it is actually hidden from the road we traveled by other mountains in the foreground. We enjoyed seeing the red deer roaming the area, but didn't enjoy the midges, which seemed more aggressive and plentiful here than anywhere we'd been.

 Another gorgeous view on the way to Ardvreck.
 The mountains were hidden by the mist.

The gorse was in full bloom.
Although I wasn't able to get any pics of the red deer at Assynt, here are some other Sutherland deer from further north.

Thanks for checking out my pics!

Vonda




23 comments:

Margery Scott said...

Gorgeous photos, Vonda. I'm originally from Scotland but from the Borders. One of these days I'd love to go back, now that I'm old enough to appreciate the beauty and the history.

Randy said...

Beautiful, as always, Vonda! I had to laugh though...kept thinking "Ardvreck" had typos and wanted to read it as "Aardvark." Don't suppose there are too many of those in that neck of the woods, though. :)

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks Margery! How cool it must have been to grow up in Scotland. I'd love to visit the borders sometime. It's a beautiful area too!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Randy, thanks! LOL! Not too many aardvarks in Scotland I bet. Too cold and wet for them. LOL I have no idea where the name Ardvreck comes from.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Vonda, these are absolutely gorgeous. You don't play fair - I was already homesick for Scotland and now this....it is time for another trip.

derekd said...

Beautiful, thanks for posting them. Photos will have to do until I can manage the real thing.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Paisley, so sorry to make you even more homesick! Yes, it's definitely time for another trip!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks Derek! I hope you get to visit Scotland soon! You'll love it I'm sure.

angelyn said...

Lovely post---gorgeous photos.

Michelle Muse said...

Wow, absolutely gorgeous. Sure wish I could get over there someday... Thanks for sharing!

Donna Goode said...

Ah-h...breathtaking. I, too, am homesick and haven't even been there yet! Oh, how I love your beautiful photographs, Vonda. Thanks for sharing!
~Donna

Vonda Sinclair said...

Angelyn, thanks for checking them out!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Michelle, thanks! I hope you get to visit! You'll enjoy it!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Donna, thanks! Those who love Scotland get homesick even if they haven't visited a certain area. There's just something about some places (or pictures of them) that speaks to us on a deep level

Liz Falkner said...

Breathtaking photos! I always love to look at your pictures. Scotland is truly a beautiful place.

Natasha Moore said...

Beautiful pictures, Vonda!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Liz and Natasha, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked them!

Maggie Jagger said...

Fabulous photos! So eerie, expect to be transported back in time, but don't think I am fierce enough.

Maureen Fisher said...

Beautiful photos. Being a Scot myself, I can see that the weather was typically Scottish.

Vonda Sinclair said...

LOL Maggie! I'm not sure I'm fierce enough either, but it would be fun and educational to travel back in time for a day. Thanks!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Maureen! Yes, the weather was definitely Scottish. LOL I didn't know you were Scottish. I may have to pick your brain sometime. LOL

Tami Brothers said...

Beautiful pictures! LOVE these and the story behind them. I did the Aardvark thing, too. :)

Tami

Vonda Sinclair said...

Tami, thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!