Kilravock Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Kilravock Castle, a picturesque old mansion in the Nairnshire section of Croy and Dalcross parish, near the left bank of the river Nairn, 7 miles SW of Nairn town, and 3 SSE of Fort George station. ' The keep of Kilravock, ' says Mr Skelton, ' stands on the thicklywooded bank that overhangs the valley of the Nairn. It is an imposing though somewhat heavy mass of masonry; a clumsy manor house in the architectural style of a later century having been tagged on to the square crenellated keep, built in 1460 by Hugh, the seventh baron, and destroyed by that parvenu Earl of Mar, who was hanged by the old nobility in his own scarf over the Brig of Lauder. . . . The Roses selected a pleasant site for their habitation. The oak and the maple flourish luxuriantly; the peaceful stream wanders quietly through the green strath and below the battered and blackened walls whose shadow it repeats; the terraced garden along the rocky bank is sweet with the fragrance of English violets, planted by fair Mistress Muriel or Euphame of the olden time.' Within is one of the richest collections of old MSS., old armour, and old paintings in the north of Scotland; and one of the MSS., a curious family history, written in 1684, was edited by Cosmo Innes for the Spalding Club in 1848. Rich, too, is Kilravock in its memories, having received a visit from Queen Mary in 1562; from Prince Charles Edward in 1746, two days before the battle of Culloden; from the Duke of Cumberland, who came next day, and said to the old laird, 'You have had my cousin with you;' and from Robert Burns on 5 Sept. 1787. Two of its daughters, again, were one the wife of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, the other the mother of Henry Mackenzie, the ' Man of Feeling,' who, when he came down here to see his cousin, with her wrote fantastic inscriptions and dedicated walks to ' Melancholy.' Hugh Rose of Geddes, the first out of seventeen lairds who have borne that Christian name, acquired the lands of Kilravock in the 13th century; and his twenty-first descendant, Major James Rose (b. 1820; suc. 1854), holds 4395 acres in Nairnshire, valued at £2345 per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 84, 1876. See vol. iii. of Billings' Baronial Antiquities (1852), and John Skelton's Essays in History and Biography (1883).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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