Duntulm Castle

Castle in Isle of Skye

Duntulm Castle stands ruined on the north coast of Trotternish, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, near the hamlet of Duntulm. During the 17th century it was the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Sleat. It is a scheduled monument.

Access to the castle is by way of a short track across the top of a sheep pasture that can be very slippery and muddy in wet weather. Duntulm Castle was a MacLeod possession, but became the chief residence of the MacDonalds in 1539, who held it until their support for the Jacobite cause resulted in Duntulm and all of their Trotternish possessions being seized by the English crown.

It seems likely that a Norse fortress predates the medieval castle we see today, and it is possible that an earlier Iron Age fort lies under the ruins of the Norse stronghold. The castle is defended by steep cliffs on three sides, with a drop of 50 feet to the rocks below.

Local legend tells that the castle was abandoned after the infant son of the chieftain who dwelt there at the time, in the charge of a nursemaid, fell from a window and was dashed on the rocks below. As a punishment, the nursemaid was set adrift on the North Atlantic in a small boat.

 

Visiting Duntulm Castle

Duration: 30 minutes