Ardvreck Castle **

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On a promontory in Loch Assynt halfway between Ledmore and Lochinver the stark skeleton of Ardvreck ('Ard Bhreac') Castle, an early 16th century stronghold of Clan MacLeod, paints a dramatic picture. The clan obtained Assynt when the son of MacLeod of Lewis around 1050 married the last daughter of lan Mac Nicol, who at the time owned Assynt. In 1650, James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, having lost the battle of Carbisdale and in desperate straits, was found near the castle by Neil MacLeod´s men. The Marquis, more dead than alive, had the misfortune that MacLeod was a Presbyterian. He was imprisoned in the castle immediately. Handed over to the Covenanter general Leslie, the unfortunate was led bound on horseback to Edinburgh and his execution. Neil MacLeod never did receive the reward and, in handing over the marquis, had created his own life-long nemesis: his neighbour the Earl of Seaforth. The MacKenzie´s, the Glengarry MacDonalds and the MacLeods of Skye devastated the lands of ‘poor’ Neil. The castle was destroyed later in the 17th century.

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