DUNVEGAN CASTLE (Isle of Skye Scotland)
This Castle stands on the Isle of Skye, on the North-West side of Scotland. It has been the ancestral home of Clan MacLeod since the 1270s and so it is the oldest residence in Britain continuously occupied by the same family. It was built on a rocky promontory, surrounded by cliffs and Loch Dunvegan . The 14th century square keep and the 16th century Fairy Tower were badly affected by the remodelling of the castle in the 1840s, giving it presently a grim appearance.
The court of Chief MacLeod at Dunvegan Castle was at the heart of a unique way of life that existed upon Skye before the 19TH century. The Piper’s gallery honours the memory of Chief Alastair Crotach who founded the College of Pipers for the MacCrimmons, the hereditary pipers to the clan chief.
Clan MacLeod turned out in full to support Charles II in his bid for the Crown in 1650. Over 700 clansmen were killed at the Battle of Worcester the following year. The 25th chief of the clan earned a special place in Highlands hearts during the potato famine of 1847.While other Highlands Landowners used the famine to clear their small tenants from the land, MacLeod bankrupted himself trying to provide for his hungry people. He ended up having to accept a post as a clerk to earn a living while renting the castle to clear his debts. He returned to live in his castle only as an old man!
Today, Dunvegan castle is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Scotland, still owned by the MacLeod clan.