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History of Eileen Donan Castle

There was once a hermit on the island, St Donan, and Eileen Donan is "Island of Donan" in Gaelic. There has also been a Pict fort.

The present castle was built on this site by Alexander II in the 13th century to protect against Viking raids, and given to Colin Fitzgerald. The strong keep was defence against all attempts to take the castle, including many raids by the MacDonalds of the Isles

During the first Jacobite rebellion, the owners of the castle, the MacRaes, supported the Old Pretender, and garrisoned a small force of Spanish soldiers here. The castle was pounded into submission in 1719 by four English frigates.

It was left in ruins until 1912, when a Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap decided to re-build his ancestral home. For the next twenty years he restored the castle faithfully, paying great attention to detail. It was opened to the public in 1934, and Col MacRae-Gilstrap lived there for part of the year. It also became the spiritual home of the MacRae clan.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Emerson (Signal-Womb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 429 W: 2 N: 2153] (13048)
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