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TITLE
Dunvegan Castle
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_WCS6383
PLACENAME
Dunvegan
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duirinish
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29616
KEYWORDS
Skye
castles
Macleod
Harris
Minch
Alexander the Hunchbacked
battles
Bloody Bay
Tobermory
horn
Rory More
ghosts
Madonald
Donald Gorm
Sleat
treachery
barges
pipers
Dunvegan Castle

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.

Dunvegan Castle is supposed to be the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, one portion of it is said to have been built in the ninth century. The old part of the castle looks towards the sea, and the only entrance at one time was by a flight of steps leading through a narrow archway, up which perhaps came Macleod of Harris after he sank the barge of his father-in-law in the misty Minch. One of the towers of the castle was built by Alexander the Hunchbacked, the son of William, slain at the battle of Bloody Bay near Tobermory, on 1493. In this castle is preserved an ox horn mounted on a silver rim, holding about five imperial pints, said to be the drinking horn of "Rory More," i.e., Big Roderick, who was knighted by James VI. To empty this horn at a drink was considered a necessary feat to be performed by the chief of Macleod on coming of age but a false bottom has lessened its capacity for modern appetites. The Macleods like other chiefs have a ghost which haunts one of the chambers of Dunvegan. Many a strange tale is also told of the days when the rival chiefs, Macleod and Macdonald, were watching for an opportunity to do each other mortal injury, as how Donald Gorm, after seeking shelter in the castle one stormy night, defied Macleod at dinner, and proudly told him that wherever Macdonald of Sleat sits is the head of the table. That night, however, he narrowly escaped being burned in the barn through Macleod's treachery, and next morning, with his bodyguard of twelve men, marched down to where his barge was moored, with his piper playing in front, to the astonishment of all in the castle.

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Dunvegan Castle

INVERNESS: Duirinish

1890s

Skye; castles; Macleod; Harris; Minch; Alexander the Hunchbacked; battles; Bloody Bay; Tobermory; horn; Rory More; ghosts; Madonald; Donald Gorm; Sleat; treachery; barges; pipers

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.<br /> <br /> Dunvegan Castle is supposed to be the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, one portion of it is said to have been built in the ninth century. The old part of the castle looks towards the sea, and the only entrance at one time was by a flight of steps leading through a narrow archway, up which perhaps came Macleod of Harris after he sank the barge of his father-in-law in the misty Minch. One of the towers of the castle was built by Alexander the Hunchbacked, the son of William, slain at the battle of Bloody Bay near Tobermory, on 1493. In this castle is preserved an ox horn mounted on a silver rim, holding about five imperial pints, said to be the drinking horn of "Rory More," i.e., Big Roderick, who was knighted by James VI. To empty this horn at a drink was considered a necessary feat to be performed by the chief of Macleod on coming of age but a false bottom has lessened its capacity for modern appetites. The Macleods like other chiefs have a ghost which haunts one of the chambers of Dunvegan. Many a strange tale is also told of the days when the rival chiefs, Macleod and Macdonald, were watching for an opportunity to do each other mortal injury, as how Donald Gorm, after seeking shelter in the castle one stormy night, defied Macleod at dinner, and proudly told him that wherever Macdonald of Sleat sits is the head of the table. That night, however, he narrowly escaped being burned in the barn through Macleod's treachery, and next morning, with his bodyguard of twelve men, marched down to where his barge was moored, with his piper playing in front, to the astonishment of all in the castle.