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TITLE
Dunvegan Castle from the north
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_UC2568_P004
PLACENAME
Dunvegan
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duirinish
PERIOD
1900s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
38262
KEYWORDS
castles
Dunvegan
Macleods
clans
gates
entrances
fairies
Fairy Flag
lochs
Dunvegan Castle from the north

The name Dunvegan means 'little fort' from the Gaelic Dùn Bheagain. Dunvegan Castle is situated about a mile north of the village of Dunvegan and 22 miles west of Portree, on the island of Skye.

The castle dates from around 1200, with improvements being added in almost every century since, and is the ancestral home of the chiefs of the Macleods of Skye. It is the oldest residence in Britain that has been occupied continuously by the same family.

Originally, the only entrance to the castle was through a sea-gate and up a dark stairway. This meant the castle was well defended. On three sides it was bounded by steep cliffs into the loch and there was a large ditch on the only landward side. A bridge was built across the ditch in 1748.

Dunvegan Castle is also home to the Fairy Flag (Am Bratach Sìth). Tradition has it that the flag was gifted to one of the clan chiefs by his fairy wife when she returned to her own people. It is said to have the power to save the clan from destruction three times if unfurled in times of dire need. It has worked twice at the battle of Glendale and the battle of Trumpan.

This photograph is taken from 'The Misty Isle of Skye' by J A MacCulloch

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Dunvegan Castle from the north

INVERNESS: Duirinish

1900s

castles; Dunvegan; Macleods; clans; gates; entrances; fairies; Fairy Flag; lochs

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (photographs)

The name Dunvegan means 'little fort' from the Gaelic Dùn Bheagain. Dunvegan Castle is situated about a mile north of the village of Dunvegan and 22 miles west of Portree, on the island of Skye.<br /> <br /> The castle dates from around 1200, with improvements being added in almost every century since, and is the ancestral home of the chiefs of the Macleods of Skye. It is the oldest residence in Britain that has been occupied continuously by the same family.<br /> <br /> Originally, the only entrance to the castle was through a sea-gate and up a dark stairway. This meant the castle was well defended. On three sides it was bounded by steep cliffs into the loch and there was a large ditch on the only landward side. A bridge was built across the ditch in 1748.<br /> <br /> Dunvegan Castle is also home to the Fairy Flag (Am Bratach Sìth). Tradition has it that the flag was gifted to one of the clan chiefs by his fairy wife when she returned to her own people. It is said to have the power to save the clan from destruction three times if unfurled in times of dire need. It has worked twice at the battle of Glendale and the battle of Trumpan.<br /> <br /> This photograph is taken from 'The Misty Isle of Skye' by J A MacCulloch