Eilean Donan  Ross and Cromarty


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Eilean Donan like this:

Ellandonan, a small rocky island, crowned by a ruined, ivy-clad, ancient castle, in Kintail parish, Rossshire, at the forking of Loch Alsh into Lochs Long and Duich, 8 ½ miles E of Kyle Akin. The castle presents a picturesque appearance, backed by a noble range of hills. Occupying the site of a Caledonian vitrified -fort, it is said to have been given in 1266 to Colin Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Desmond, and to have been the scene in 1331 of a severe act of retributive justice by Randolph, Earl of Moray, then warden of Scotland, who executed in it fifty delinquents, and ranged their heads round its walls. ...

Certain it is that it was long a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail, and that it sustained in 1539 a famous attack by Donald Gorm, a claimant to the lordship of the Isles, whose assault on it cost him his life, and is celebrated in a ballad by Colin Mackenzie in Scott's Border Minstrelsy. In 1719 it was garrisoned by a Spanish force under William Mackenzie, fifth Earl of Seaforth, with the Earl Marischal and the Marquis of Tullibardine; but three English ships-ofwar soon battered its rude square tower to pieces, and its defenders retired to GLENSHIEL.

Eilean Donan through time

Eilean Donan is now part of Highland district. Click here for graphs and data of how Highland has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Eilean Donan itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Eilean Donan, in Highland and Ross and Cromarty | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 08th May 2021

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