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  Loch Assynt


Assynt is a particularly historic part of the northern Highlands, but at this one location towards the eastern end of Loch Assynt you will find a number of historic monuments.

Situated on a peninsula is Ardvreck Castle. Built by the MacLeods of Assynt towards the end of the fifteenth century, Ardvreck was originally a simple rectangular structure, but over the years it was improved with the addition of a tower and vaulted cellars. In 1650 following the Battle of Carbisdale the Laird of Assynt captured and imprisoned John Graham, Marquis of Montrose. He was held at the castle until he could be handed over to Cromwell's supporters. He was executed soon after. The MacLeods lost ownership of the castle following a two week long seige by the MacKenzies of Wester Ross in 1672. The castle was struck by lightning in 1795 and much of the building was destroyed.

In 1726 Kenneth MacKenzie and his wife felt that Ardvreck Castle was too small and austere so they decided to build an impressive modern mansion, Calda House, nearby. However, after just ten years MacKenzie fell on hard times and was forced to sell Calda to the Earl of Sutherland. This did not please the MacKenzie clan and the following year they looted and burned the house. After that it fell into disrepair and much of its stonework was used to construct other buildings in the area.

Other historic buildings in the same area include the remains of a kiln barn and a mill. Between the castle and the road lie the remains of an ancient chambered cairn. Visitors to the area can stop at the car park beside the main road where they will find information boards describing the various historic monuments.


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About Loch Assynt

• Assynt Image Gallery

• Loch Assynt Map

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• Elphin
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