Monday, December 30, 2013

Duntulm Castle

I wish I had visited Duntulm before 1990, when its last tower fell in a wind storm. Now all that's left are the few walls that you can see in the photo. I first visited it hoping to find the dungeon where Uisdean MacGhilleasbuig Chleirich was imprisoned. As the story goes, he was given his fill of salted beef, but then given no water to quench his thirst. However the ruin was in such sad shape that it was impossible for me to tell where the dungeon had been. This one-time seat of the MacDonalds has not only suffered from wind damage, but also from stone pillaging. It was abandoned in the 1730s. 

If you visit it these days a set of warning signs and fences will be encountered warning you to stay away. That was not the case during my first visit 22 years ago, when my wife and I stayed at nearby Duntulm Castle Hotel. I looked into staying there again this year, only to find out that the hotel has been out of business for a while and is now for sale. If I had a spare half-million pounds I might consider buying it.

The second and third photos show a memorial cairn next to the castle ruin. It commemorates the MacArthurs, who had a piping school in the 18th century at Peingown.  

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