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Loch an Eilein Castle

A romantic ruin on a small island within Loch an Eilein in the Rothiemurchus Forest. Located 3 miles (5 km) south of Aviemore, in the Strathspey district of Highland Council Area, Loch an Eilein Castle was built in the 14th century as a stronghold for Alexander Stuart, the Wolf of Badenoch (1343 - 1405). The castle comprises a keep, hall house and other buildings, with a small courtyard. It is possible that the hall house dates from the 13th century, built for the Bishop of Moray.

The castle passed to the Mackintoshes, then the Gordons and belonged to the Grants in 1567. Patrick Grant of Rothiemurchus strengthened the castle in 1600. Jacobites retreating from the Battle of Cromdale besieged the castle in 1690. In 1715 Mackintosh of Balnespick was held here to prevent him opposing the Jacobites.

The castle was once connected to the shore by a causeway but this was lost, and the size of the island much reduced, when the water level in the loch was raised in the later 18th century. Ospreys have been known to nest in the castle and to fish in the loch.


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