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TITLE
Ackergill Tower, Wick
EXTERNAL ID
HC_ARCH2_1981-82_81061012
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Caithness - Eastern
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
PERIOD
1980s
SOURCE
The Highland Council Archaeology Unit
ASSET ID
13217
KEYWORDS
castles
Ackergill Tower, Wick

Dating back to 1476, Ackergill was a Keith stronghold - The Earl Marshall of Scotland Sir Reginald de Cheyne owning the house and estate, then estimated at well over 500,000 acres. Various Captains signing under the name of Keith looked after the lands in Caithness for many years and the estate passed in direct descent for eight generations, until the battle of Flodden in 1513.

These were barbarous times and it became increasingly difficult for the Keiths to maintain their remote lands in the North of Scotland. The fifth Earl of Caithness took the tower by force in the late 1600s and held it for several years until Cromwell's troops in 1671 sent the Earl scurrying for safety in Orkney.

The house and grounds were duly returned to the Keiths but by 1696, tired of their most northern property, they sold it to Sir William Dunbar, of Hempriggs. In 1845 Sir George Dunbar, recently created Lord Duffus, employed David Bryce, the Edinburgh architect to transform the castle into the finest gentleman's seat in the North of Scotland.

The Castle had a short period of glorious splendour in the late 1800s with hunting and shooting parties but the cost of the building and upkeep of Ackergill Tower soon took its toll and combined with Victorian gambling debts led to a period of slow decline.

The Castle was considered beyond salvation, when it was purchased in 1986 by the present owners - John and Arlette Bannister. In 1988, after a much loved restoration, the castle opened its doors once again as a high quality hotel.

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Ackergill Tower, Wick

CAITHNESS: Wick

1980s

castles

The Highland Council Archaeology Unit

Dating back to 1476, Ackergill was a Keith stronghold - The Earl Marshall of Scotland Sir Reginald de Cheyne owning the house and estate, then estimated at well over 500,000 acres. Various Captains signing under the name of Keith looked after the lands in Caithness for many years and the estate passed in direct descent for eight generations, until the battle of Flodden in 1513. <br /> <br /> These were barbarous times and it became increasingly difficult for the Keiths to maintain their remote lands in the North of Scotland. The fifth Earl of Caithness took the tower by force in the late 1600s and held it for several years until Cromwell's troops in 1671 sent the Earl scurrying for safety in Orkney. <br /> <br /> The house and grounds were duly returned to the Keiths but by 1696, tired of their most northern property, they sold it to Sir William Dunbar, of Hempriggs. In 1845 Sir George Dunbar, recently created Lord Duffus, employed David Bryce, the Edinburgh architect to transform the castle into the finest gentleman's seat in the North of Scotland. <br /> <br /> The Castle had a short period of glorious splendour in the late 1800s with hunting and shooting parties but the cost of the building and upkeep of Ackergill Tower soon took its toll and combined with Victorian gambling debts led to a period of slow decline. <br /> <br /> The Castle was considered beyond salvation, when it was purchased in 1986 by the present owners - John and Arlette Bannister. In 1988, after a much loved restoration, the castle opened its doors once again as a high quality hotel.