A 5th Century castle with ancient Pictish origins
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High above the murky, deep waters of Loch Ness is Urquhart Castle – perhaps the most iconic sights available around the loch. The castle has ancient Pictish origins, with the land once being the site of a 5th Century fort.
Now in ruins, Urquhart Castle as we know it today was built and rebuilt over the centuries until in the 16th century it was repaired and remodelled by the Grants, a powerful Highland family. The castle has changed hands more times than history can keep up with, and been the site of many bloody battles – indeed part of it was blown up at some point in 1690 to prevent its usage by Jacobite forces, the large pieces of masonry still visible beside what remains of the gatehouse.
What is there to do at Urquhart Castle?
Although Urquhart Castle is a ruin, it has been preserved and made safe by extensive work from Historic Environment Scotland, who have installed several replicas from the medieval period, including a giant wooden trebuchet. The nearby visitor centre contains a shop, a cafe and a small cinema, where you can learn much more about the exciting and turbulent history of the castle and the surrounding area.
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