Castle Moil, Isle of Skye
|Caisteal Maol (Gaelic: Caisteal, 'Castle', Maol, 'bare')|
Castle Moil is also known as Castle Moal, Caisteal Maol, Dun Akyn, Dun Haakon and Castle Dunakin. It is located near the village of Kyleakin next to Loch Alsh on Isle of Skye. It was a MacKinnon castle built between 1490 and 1513.
We walked to the castle from the beautiful small village of Kyleakin.
|I had to show you this cute sign in Kyleakin. :)|
It's a short hike to the castle that includes walking along village streets and then through bracken fern and along the shore where the water flows in at high tide. This is a flagstone with a warning about the tide. I suppose someone could get stuck at the castle overnight if they weren't careful.
To prevent unpaid crossings through the narrow straight between Skye and the mainland, the reputed builder of Castle Moil, a Norwegian princess and wife of a MacKinnon chieftain remembered today as "Saucy Mary", had a chain hung from the castle walls across the channel to the mainland. The chain was raised to block passage and thus allowed her to extract toll from all vessels which passed through the Kyles. Why was she named Saucy Mary? Allegedly Mary, following payment of her tolls would, as a gesture of thanks, flash her breasts at the sailors as the ships would pass. Today, there is a lodge and restaurant in Kyleakin called Saucy Mary's.
|Looking across the bracken and heather toward Castle Moil and Kyle.|
Walking along through the edge of Loch Alsh while the tide was out. As you can see from the seaweed, the water comes in pretty far.
After all that walking, I needed a break. Here, I'm sitting on a bench below the castle ruin.
The hardest part of the hike normally would be climbing up to the castle itself. My two friends didn't want to join me in the climb but I enjoyed it. :) I love exploring old ruins and taking photos of everything possible.
|I love this one remaining window.|
|Looking up at the "ceiling" of the window alcove.|
|View from Castle Moil across Loch Alsh.|
|Castle Moil window|
|View from Castle Moil window.|
|View in the opposite direction from the window.|
|Click to enlarge. How the castle originally looked before it fell into ruin.|
|Click to enlarge and read the history of the castle.|
|Click to enlarge to see diagrams of castle.|
|What's left of the window and wall. The holes above the window are where wooden floor joists were originally for the floor above. You can also see how thick the wall is.|
|Click to enlarge. View from the castle across to the village of Kyle of Lochalsh.|
PS Coming soon... the audiobook version of My Daring Highlander. :)