Saturday, April 25, 2009

Castle Stalker Reflected

Castle Stalker Reflected, originally uploaded by antsplan.

The Castle is situated on the A828 between Ballachulish and Connel, and accessed by way of a track which turns off the road, in between the village of Portnacroish and the Castle Stalker view cafe. If travelling North from Connel, the turning is to your left after passing a row of white houses, just before the road turns up the hill to the right. If travelling South from Ballachulish, the turning is to your right approximately 200 metres after the Castle Stalker view cafe, immediately at the bottom of the hill.
Having taken this turning, continue along the track and take the first left turning, opposite a small white cottage ("Strath Cottage"). At the bottom of this track is an area where you will be able to park, and proceed through the gate on foot to the boathouse and jetty.
Please note that this private track may not be suitable for all vehicles. Care must be taken and drivers use it at their own risk.
Built around 1540 by Duncan Stewart of Appin, this much-photographed castle was gifted by him to James IV for use as a hunting lodge. In fact, its Gaelic name Caisteal Stalcair translates literally as 'Castle of the Hunter'. It sits at the mouth of Loch Laich (by Loch Linnhe) on a rocky islet known as the Rock of the Cormorants which is also the battle cry of the Stewarts of Appin.

The castle, like so many in Scotland, has had a turbulent history. One 17th century Stewart gambled it away to a Campbell for an eight-oared galley. During the 1745 Jacobite Rising it was used as a garrison for troops.

Abandoned around 1780, it lost its roof shortly before 1831 and was restored from its ruinous state in the late 1960s by the late Lt. Col. Stewart Allward whose family still owns the castle.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler


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