Castle Tioram
Encyclopedia
Castle Tioram is a ruined castle that sits on the tidal island
Tidal island
A tidal island is a piece of land that is connected to the mainland by a natural or man-made causeway that is exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide. Because of the mystique surrounding tidal islands many of them have been sites of religious worship, such as Mont Saint Michel with its...

 Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart, Lochaber
Lochaber
District of Lochaber 1975 to 1996Highland council area shown as one of the council areas of ScotlandLochaber is one of the 16 ward management areas of the Highland Council of Scotland and one of eight former local government districts of the two-tier Highland region...

, Highland
Highland (council area)
Highland is a council area in the Scottish Highlands and is the largest local government area in both Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole. It shares borders with the council areas of Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross, and Argyll and Bute. Their councils, and those of Angus and...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. It is located west of Acharacle
Acharacle
Acharacle is a township in Ardnamurchan, Lochaber, in the Scottish council area of Highland. The name comes from the Gaelic Ath Thorguil or Torquil's ford, following a battle in 1120 at a nearby ford across the River Shiel between the Celtic-Norse warrior Somerled and the Norse invader Torquil...

, approximately 80 kilometres from Fort William. Though hidden from the sea, the castle controls access to Loch Shiel
Loch Shiel
Loch Shiel is a 19.3 km2 freshwater loch, 120 m deep, situated 20 km west of Fort William in Lochaber, Highland, Scotland...

.It is also known to the locals as "Dorlin castle"

The castle - a listed building and scheduled ancient monument - is the traditional seat of the Clan MacDonald of Clan Ranald
Clan MacDonald of Clan Ranald
Clan Macdonald of Clanranald is a Scottish clan and a branch of Clan Donald one of the largest Scottish clans. The founder of the Macdonalds of Clanranald is Reginald, 4th great-grandson of Somerled. The Macdonalds of Clanranald descend from Reginald's elder son Allan and the MacDonells of...

, a branch of Clan Donald
Clan Donald
Clan Donald is one of the largest Scottish clans. There are numerous branches to the clan. Several of these have chiefs recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms; these are: Clan Macdonald of Sleat, Clan Macdonald of Clanranald, Clan MacDonell of Glengarry, Clan MacDonald of Keppoch, and Clan...

. Castle Tioram was seized by Government forces around 1692 when Clan Chief Allan of Clanranald joined the Jacobite Court in France, despite having sworn allegiance to the British Crown. A small garrison was stationed in the Castle until the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 when Allan recaptured and torched the castle, purportedly to keep it out of the hands of the Hanoverian
House of Hanover
The House of Hanover is a deposed German royal dynasty which has ruled the Duchy of Brunswick-L√ľneburg , the Kingdom of Hanover, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 forces. It has been unoccupied since that time, although there are some accounts suggesting it was partially inhabited thereafter including storage of firearms from the De Tuillay in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising and Lady Grange's account of her kidnapping.

The curtain wall is believed to date from the 13th century whilst the tower and other interior buildings are of 15th to 17th century construction. Amie mac Ruari is said to have extended the castle in the 14th century.

The castle is now in extremely poor condition and in 1998 was closed to the public at the request of Highland Council; a major structural collapse occurred at the north west curtain wall in 2000.

Controversial proposals to restore the castle by the new owners, Anta Estates, were announced in 1997 and received planning consent from Highland Council. This included the creation of a clan centre/museum, domestic apartments, and public access. However, Historic Scotland refused Scheduled Monument Consent - a decision upheld after a local public inquiry.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments in Scotland holds a substantial archive of research information, drawings, and photographs lodged by the current owners.

The castle can be reached on foot across the tidal causeway, but there is no access to the interior because of the risk of falling masonry.

External links

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