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Knock (Camus) Castle / Isle of Skye *

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Description:

The original name of the castle was Caisteal Camus, or Caisteal Uaine, but it became known as Knock from the 17th century.

In the Iron Age a dun, or fort, known as Dun Thoravaig, was established on a rocky knoll. The dun site was re-used during the medieval period for a new stronghold, probably built by the MacLeod clan. We know that the MacLeods were residing at Knock by the 14th century, as vassals of the Earls of Ross.

In the early 15th century the rival Macdonald clan took over Knock, as well as Dunscaith, on the northern coast of Sleat. In 1431 the Macdonalds rebelled against the crown and the castle was occupied by troops under James I. Alastair Crotach MacLeod, 8th Chief of Clan MacLeod, tried to recapture Knock in the early 16th century but was repulsed.

The Macdonalds forfeited their territory on Sleat in the late 16th century and in 1596 Knock was granted to the MacLeods once more, on condition that it be made available as a royal residence. The proviso was repeated in 1614 when Donald Gorm of Sleat was required to make 'the castle of Camus' always be open to the King, his lieutenants, and chamberlains.

Nothing seems to have been done to restore the castle for crown use. It was certainly never used as a royal residence, and by 1689 it was recorded as abandoned and decaying.

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