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TITLE
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_159_125
PLACENAME
Wick
DISTRICT
Eastern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Wick
DATE OF IMAGE
1874
PERIOD
1870s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
30923
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.

Illustration taken from 'A History of the Scottish Highlands, Highland Clans and Highland Regiments vol. 1' ed. by John S. Keltie

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Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

CAITHNESS: Wick

1870s

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

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

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.<br /> <br /> Illustration taken from 'A History of the Scottish Highlands, Highland Clans and Highland Regiments vol. 1' ed. by John S. Keltie