Dunvegan Castle is situated on the
Isle of Skye, about 1 mile north of
Dunvegan Village, 20 miles west
of Portree. Open 1st April – 15th
October daily 10am – 5.30pm (last entry
5pm). Closed 16 October – 31st March.
View a Click on Map for the Area
Attractions and Mountains.
The image top is of Dunvegan Castle Visitor
Centre with a large car park.
The second image is of Dunvegan Castle
overlooking Dunvegan Loch.
The Castle Gardens have a Walled Garden and
Other attractions also in the area not to be
missed are Coral Beach 4 miles north,
Andrew MacAskill the Giants museum in Dunvegan 1 mile
south, and Neist Point 11
Dunvegan Castle History
800s - Vikings had taken control of Skye and
most other Scottish Islands.
1100s - Scots Kings began pushing the
Vikings out of the Islands by using Scots Clans
to help them keep control of all Scotland.
Most Scots Clans had long running feuds with
neighbouring Clans, with many of these feuds
only ending through marriage, or stricter laws
introduced from the 1500s to 1700s. People then
found guilty of murdering their neighbour could
be sentenced to a gruesome execution in a
public place. The Maiden
Guillotine in Edinburgh was used to execute
some prominent Clan members.
1200s - Clan MacLeod took control of
Dunvegan in the northwest of Skye with the
earliest parts of Dunvegan Castle built at that
time. The Castle Estate is about 42,000 acres
including the area with the Cuillin Mountains
and Fairy Pools. This Clan was probably
descended from Vikings.
1200s - Clan Donald becomes a prominent Clan
in the Western Isles of Scotland, descendants
of Vikings that claimed to be Kings of the
1300s - the Tower House is built at Dunvegan
1300s - Clan MacLeod build Duntulm
Castle 37 miles north of their Dunvegan
1400s - Clan Donald arrive on the Isle of
Skye taking control of the southeast area.
Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald had many feuds
over Castles and land. Marriage was used once
to try and unite the two Clans but failed. The
Government forced peace between the two Clans
1600s - Clan Donald took control of Duntulm
1657 - hundreds of MacLeod's were killed
fighting for King Charles II at the Battle of
Worcester, last battle of the English Civil
War. Around 16,000 men fought for Charles II
against 30,000 men fighting for Oliver
Cromwell. Around 1,000 men of Clan MacLeod are
said to have taken part in the battle with many
killed. Some that were captured were
transported to America for slavery.
1739 - MacLeod's of Dunvegan and Macdonald's
of Sleat were accused of kidnapping 96 of their
kinsmen, men, women and children, in an attempt
to sell them as slaves. The vessel carrying the
people to America was wrecked off the coast of
Northern Ireland, with all passengers
1746 - Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald of Skye
both supported the Government in the 45
Jacobite Rebellion. Many other Clan MacLeod and
Donald, from other areas, fought with the
Jacobite's at the Battle of
Many Clans that fought on the Jacobite side
in the 1745 rebellion then had their homes
destroyed, cattle killed, and forced to
Clans supporting the Government, retained
their Castles, Land, Titles and Wealth.
1700s to 1800s - Dunvegan Castle is extended
in the Baronial Style seen today.
1933 - Dunvegan Castle is opened to the
paying public to help pay for repairs.
2000 - John MacLeod attempted to sell off
land that contained the Black Cuillin Mountains
for £10million so he could use the money to
repair the Castle. Public outrage led to the
sale being withdrawn.
2007 - John MacLeod, 29th chief, died
leaving £15 million in his will, leading to
people wondering why he never used that money
Today - son of the late John MacLeod,
MacLeod, owns the Castle and Estate.