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TITLE
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
EXTERNAL ID
HC_ARCH2_1981-82_81061013
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Caithness - Eastern
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
PERIOD
1980s
SOURCE
The Highland Council Archaeology Unit
ASSET ID
13218
KEYWORDS
Sinclairs
castles
cannons
Earls of Caithness
Wick
Grinigoe
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

A recent survey by Field Archaeology Specialists Ltd (FAS) of the University of York has prompted the history of this site to be rewritten.

It had previously been believed that two castles had been built here by the Earls of Caithness, one in the 15th century and the second at the beginning of the 17th century. The main structure became known as Castle Girnigoe and the other Castle Sinclair. It was thought that both had been destroyed by cannon during a siege in 1690.

However, the survey by FAS found that there had only ever been one castle on the site. Construction had begun as early as the late 14th century and the buildings had been added to over the years with the final additions made in the 17th century.

In 1606 the Earl of Caithness had obtained an Act of Parliament to change the name of the Castle from Castle Girnigoe to Castle Sinclair but both names remained in use which led to the confusion and error that there were two Castles on the site.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe opened to the public on 1 August 2010 after a decade-long restoration project costing £700,000. A further two phases are planned which will turn the building into a major tourist attraction.

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Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

CAITHNESS: Wick

1980s

Sinclairs; castles; cannons; Earls of Caithness; Wick; Grinigoe

The Highland Council Archaeology Unit

A recent survey by Field Archaeology Specialists Ltd (FAS) of the University of York has prompted the history of this site to be rewritten.<br /> <br /> It had previously been believed that two castles had been built here by the Earls of Caithness, one in the 15th century and the second at the beginning of the 17th century. The main structure became known as Castle Girnigoe and the other Castle Sinclair. It was thought that both had been destroyed by cannon during a siege in 1690.<br /> <br /> However, the survey by FAS found that there had only ever been one castle on the site. Construction had begun as early as the late 14th century and the buildings had been added to over the years with the final additions made in the 17th century. <br /> <br /> In 1606 the Earl of Caithness had obtained an Act of Parliament to change the name of the Castle from Castle Girnigoe to Castle Sinclair but both names remained in use which led to the confusion and error that there were two Castles on the site.<br /> <br /> Castle Sinclair Girnigoe opened to the public on 1 August 2010 after a decade-long restoration project costing £700,000. A further two phases are planned which will turn the building into a major tourist attraction.