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TITLE
Cawdor Castle
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_914_117_P006
PLACENAME
Cawdor Castle
DISTRICT
Nairn (landward)
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
NAIRN: Cawdor
DATE OF IMAGE
1852
PERIOD
1770s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31348
KEYWORDS
castles
thanes
nobility
plays
The Scottish Play
gates
legends
trees
Jacobites
Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle is situated behind the village of Cawdor. It is often associated with Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' but Macbeth died in 1052 and the castle was not built until 1454.

The castle was originally a simple tower house but an upper storey, parapets and a massive iron yett (gate) were added in the 17th century. The iron yett came from nearby Lochindorb Castle when it was dismantled.

Hugh Campbell, the 15th Thane of Cawdor declared his support for the Jacobites and had to leave, with his family, for their estates in Wales. This meant that the castle did not undergo any of the destructive 'modernisations' of other castles at the time. When the family returned from Wales they set about restoring and conserving the castle.

Within the castle is an ancient holly tree. Legend says that the first Thane of Cawdor sent a donkey out laden with gold, saying that wherever it first rested he would build his castle. The donkey rested under the tree.

This illustration was taken from 'Boswell's Journal of the Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson' (1852 edition)

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Cawdor Castle

NAIRN: Cawdor

1770s

castles; thanes; nobility; plays; The Scottish Play; gates; legends; trees; Jacobites

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

Cawdor Castle is situated behind the village of Cawdor. It is often associated with Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' but Macbeth died in 1052 and the castle was not built until 1454. <br /> <br /> The castle was originally a simple tower house but an upper storey, parapets and a massive iron yett (gate) were added in the 17th century. The iron yett came from nearby Lochindorb Castle when it was dismantled.<br /> <br /> Hugh Campbell, the 15th Thane of Cawdor declared his support for the Jacobites and had to leave, with his family, for their estates in Wales. This meant that the castle did not undergo any of the destructive 'modernisations' of other castles at the time. When the family returned from Wales they set about restoring and conserving the castle.<br /> <br /> Within the castle is an ancient holly tree. Legend says that the first Thane of Cawdor sent a donkey out laden with gold, saying that wherever it first rested he would build his castle. The donkey rested under the tree.<br /> <br /> This illustration was taken from 'Boswell's Journal of the Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson' (1852 edition)