Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
I am fascinated with the history of Scotland, and, in particular, the ancient castles whose origins reach far back into time. On the banks of Loch Ness rests the impressive ruins of Urquart Castle.. Built over 1400 years ago, records tell us St. Columba visited in an elderly Pictish nobleman at Urquart in 580 AD, baptizing the nobleman on his deathbed. But
Urquart did not fare so well in the years to come. In 1296, it was seized by the English King Edward I, known as the Hammer of the Scots. In the following years, until 1332, Urquart was pulled back and forth between Scottish and English control. In the troubling days after King Robert Bruce's death, Urquart Castle remained the only Highland castle to hold out against the English.
After the English threat subsided, The MacDonalds invaded Urquart and the Great Glen many times. Their last, and most devastating raid was in 1545.
In 1644, a Covenator force captured the castle. The Covenators were those in Scotland who signed the National Covenant, confirming their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
To prevent the castle from falling into the hands of Jacobites, supporters of King James (Stuart), soldiers loyal to William of Orange and Mary (King James' daughter) blew the castle up.
The castle was never repaired and deteriorated further as its stones were used in other buildings. It was given to the National Trust for Scotland in 2003 and remains a tourist site today.
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