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TITLE
Old Wick Castle, Wick
EXTERNAL ID
HC_ARCH2_1981-82_81061007
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Caithness - Eastern
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
PERIOD
1980s
SOURCE
The Highland Council Archaeology Unit
ASSET ID
13214
KEYWORDS
castles
Old Wick Castle, Wick

The ruins of the Castle of Old Wick are dramatically located on top of steep cliffs overlooking the sea. The simple four-storey tower is thought to have been built in the late 12th or early 13th century when Caithness was ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney. This would make it one of the oldest stone keeps in Scotland. The remains of further ranges can be found along the promontory.

The castle has had many owners including the Cheynes and the Sutherland Lord Duffus in the 14th century, and the Oliphants in the 15th century. It was besieged and captured by John Sinclair, Master of Caithness, in 1569 and later bought by the Sinclairs. It was sold to the Campbells of Glenorchy in the 1670s and then to the Dunbars of Hemprigg who held it until 1910.

Sometimes referred to as Oldwick Castle, its name is derived not from the Scots word 'auld', meaning old, but from the Gaelic 'allt', meaning a burn or stream. Its correct name is Caisteal Allt-na-Uig, or 'the castle of the burn of Wick'.

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Old Wick Castle, Wick

CAITHNESS: Wick

1980s

castles

The Highland Council Archaeology Unit

The ruins of the Castle of Old Wick are dramatically located on top of steep cliffs overlooking the sea. The simple four-storey tower is thought to have been built in the late 12th or early 13th century when Caithness was ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney. This would make it one of the oldest stone keeps in Scotland. The remains of further ranges can be found along the promontory.<br /> <br /> The castle has had many owners including the Cheynes and the Sutherland Lord Duffus in the 14th century, and the Oliphants in the 15th century. It was besieged and captured by John Sinclair, Master of Caithness, in 1569 and later bought by the Sinclairs. It was sold to the Campbells of Glenorchy in the 1670s and then to the Dunbars of Hemprigg who held it until 1910.<br /> <br /> Sometimes referred to as Oldwick Castle, its name is derived not from the Scots word 'auld', meaning old, but from the Gaelic 'allt', meaning a burn or stream. Its correct name is Caisteal Allt-na-Uig, or 'the castle of the burn of Wick'.