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TITLE
Balnagowan Castle, near Invergordon
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0607
PLACENAME
Balnagown
DISTRICT
Invergordon
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Kilmuir Easter
PERIOD
1900s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32527
KEYWORDS
postcards
Mohammed Al Fayed
treasure
murders
kidnapping
poisoning
witchcraft
relics
St Duthac
ghosts
Balnagowan Castle, near Invergordon

This postcard shows Balnagown Castle.

Balnagown Castle is situated in Ross and Cromarty two miles north-west of Invergordon. It was for centuries the seat of the Chiefs of the Clan Ross. The tower house was built in the fifteenth century. It was remodelled in the seventeenth century and much altered and extended in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The castle and the estate fell in to decline after the death of Sir Charles Ross in 1942 and were finally sold in 1972 to Mohammed Al Fayed. The castle was in a very dilapidated state but has now been completely restored.

The castle was witness to turbulent times; bloody and violent clan feuds, skulduggery, witchcraft, murder, buried treasure and its own disreputable inhabitants.

In 1487 after the sixth laird was killed in a battle with the Mackays his wife had the family treasure buried and then poisoned the men who carried out the task. The treasure is still supposed to lie in its hiding place.

In the sixteenth century, the eighth laird, Alexander Ross, terrorised the surrounding countryside. During the reformation he was entrusted with the precious gold and silver relics from St Duthac's shrine by his kinsman Nicholas Ross, the Provost of Tain and Bishop of Fearn. The relics were never seen again. Alexander's career of pillaging and destruction was brought to an end with his imprisonment in Tantallon Castle.

His son, George, was accused of kidnapping John Ross of Edinburgh, of several murders and of helping the fugitive Earl of Bothwell. His sister, Katherine, was charged with witchcraft and of continuing the family tradition of poisoning but so many of her own people were on the jury she was acquitted

"Black" Andrew Munro is supposed to haunt Balnagown. This wicked man was from neighbouring castle of Milton. Many of his tenants were slaughtered or buried alive. He ordered the women to take in the harvest naked. One story suggest that while watching this spectacle he tripped down the castle steps and broke his neck When Milton Castle was demolished his ghost migrated to Balnagown. Another story suggests he was hanged from a window of Balnagown Castle.

There is also a "grey lady", a murdered princess whose body is sealed in the castle walls and whose gentle spirit walks the corridors.

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Balnagowan Castle, near Invergordon

ROSS: Kilmuir Easter

1900s

postcards; Mohammed Al Fayed; treasure; murders; kidnapping; poisoning; witchcraft; relics; St Duthac; ghosts

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows Balnagown Castle.<br /> <br /> Balnagown Castle is situated in Ross and Cromarty two miles north-west of Invergordon. It was for centuries the seat of the Chiefs of the Clan Ross. The tower house was built in the fifteenth century. It was remodelled in the seventeenth century and much altered and extended in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.<br /> <br /> The castle and the estate fell in to decline after the death of Sir Charles Ross in 1942 and were finally sold in 1972 to Mohammed Al Fayed. The castle was in a very dilapidated state but has now been completely restored.<br /> <br /> The castle was witness to turbulent times; bloody and violent clan feuds, skulduggery, witchcraft, murder, buried treasure and its own disreputable inhabitants. <br /> <br /> In 1487 after the sixth laird was killed in a battle with the Mackays his wife had the family treasure buried and then poisoned the men who carried out the task. The treasure is still supposed to lie in its hiding place.<br /> <br /> In the sixteenth century, the eighth laird, Alexander Ross, terrorised the surrounding countryside. During the reformation he was entrusted with the precious gold and silver relics from St Duthac's shrine by his kinsman Nicholas Ross, the Provost of Tain and Bishop of Fearn. The relics were never seen again. Alexander's career of pillaging and destruction was brought to an end with his imprisonment in Tantallon Castle.<br /> <br /> His son, George, was accused of kidnapping John Ross of Edinburgh, of several murders and of helping the fugitive Earl of Bothwell. His sister, Katherine, was charged with witchcraft and of continuing the family tradition of poisoning but so many of her own people were on the jury she was acquitted <br /> <br /> "Black" Andrew Munro is supposed to haunt Balnagown. This wicked man was from neighbouring castle of Milton. Many of his tenants were slaughtered or buried alive. He ordered the women to take in the harvest naked. One story suggest that while watching this spectacle he tripped down the castle steps and broke his neck When Milton Castle was demolished his ghost migrated to Balnagown. Another story suggests he was hanged from a window of Balnagown Castle.<br /> <br /> There is also a "grey lady", a murdered princess whose body is sealed in the castle walls and whose gentle spirit walks the corridors.