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Ardvreck Castle
Sutherland in  Scotland
Ardvreck Castle is located in Highland
Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck Castle is located in the United Kingdom
Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck Castle
Location within Highland
Coordinates 58°09′59″N 4°59′40″W / 58.166389°N 4.994444°W / 58.166389; -4.994444
Site information
Condition Ruined
Site history
Built 1590 (1590)
Built by Clan MacLeod
Materials Stone
Fate Destroyed in 1672 by Clan MacKenzie

Ardvreck Castle is a ruined castle dating from the 16th century which 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.

History of Ardvreck

The castle was built in about 1590, by the MacLeods of Assynt.

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 castle was a simple rectangular keep with a round staircase tower at the south-east angle. It was corbelled out on the upper floors to form square rooms. The small stair turret to these upper rooms being carried on corbelling. There were three compartments on the ground floor which were all vaulted. There appears to have been four floors and the first of these is also vaulted with the other floors being simply joisted. The castle also had several gunports.

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