Ardvreck Castle

Castle in Sutherland

Ardvreck Castle, Sutherland
GNU Free 1.2 / Paul Hermans

Ardvreck Castle is a ruined castle dating to about 1490 when the lands were owned by the Macleods of Assynt. It stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Scotland. One can reach the ruins by driving along the A837, which follows the north shore of Loch Assynt from the village of Inchnadamph.

The castle was built in the 15th century by the MacLeods of Assynt. It replaced Assynt Castle which was four miles north-west of Inchnadamph. Ardvreck is famous as the place where the royalist James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was handed over in 1650 to the Covenanter forces by MacLeod, Laird of Assynt after the Battle of Carbisdale. The true history of this event is unclear. One account is that MacLeod, loyal to the Covenanters, arrested the weary, fleeing, Montrose and held him. Another is that he provided comfortable shelter, but betrayed Montrose for a £25,000 reward.

Clan Mackenzie attacked and captured Ardvreck Castle in 1672, and then took control of the Assynt lands.

In 1726 they constructed a more modern manor house nearby, Calda House which takes its name from the Calda burn beside which it stands. A fire destroyed the house under mysterious circumstances one night in 1737 and both Calda House and Ardvreck Castle stand as ruins today. They are designated as scheduled monuments.

The Ardvreck Castle appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Sutherland!

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Visiting Ardvreck Castle

Duration: 20 minutes

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