This original Castle covered the whole
1262 - King Alexander III of Scotland
invaded the Isle of Skye to free the Island
from Viking control.
1266 - the Vikings signed a treaty giving
control of North Scotland and the Western Isles
to Alexander III.
Clan Donald / MacDonald had been close to
the Vikings on Skye. They then became the
prominent Clan on Skye, and other Western
Isles, known as the Lords of the Isles,
becoming the most powerful Clan in Scotland,
taking little notice of the Kings and feuding
with a number of other Clans in the area.
1200s late - Kenneth MacKenzie was awarded
Eilean Donan Castle so as to keep peace in the
area for the King.
1331 - Randolph, Earl of Moray, Warden of
Scotland, sent word he was going to visit
Eilean Donan. The McKenzie's had about 50
troublemakers rounded up and executed. They
then hung their heads from the Castle to show
the Earl they were keeping the area under
1362 - The Macrae Clan came to the area,
leading to them helping the McKenzie's enforce
law and order and run the Castle.
1300s late - Eilean Donan Castle was
rebuilt, much smaller than the original,
probably so it could be defended with less
1493 - the MacDonald's had their lands,
estates, and titles taken by James IV of
Scotland after they were accused of plotting
with the English to overthrow King James. The
MacDonald's continued fighting other Clans in
1539 – Eilean Donan was attacked by Donald
Gorm MacDonald. Gorm was killed in the battle,
leading to his Clan retreating.
1715 - Eilean Donan Castle was used by
Jacobite's during the Second Jacobite Rising, an attempt by
many Clans to have the Stuart's restored to the
throne of Great Britain. The McKenzie's and
Macrae's gathered at the Castle before setting
off to war.
This Rising ended in failure soon after.
1719 - 300 Spanish soldiers landed here to
support the Jacobite's, with the McKenzie's
housing them at Eilean Donan. Three Government
ships were then used to attack the Castle with
cannon, reducing it ruins. The powder magazine
in the Castle was then used by Government
Forces to cause even more damage to the
Two weeks later, the Jacobite's met
Government Forces about 12 miles east of Eilean
Donan, where Government Forces won the Battle of Glen
Shiel. The Jacobite Forces were mainly made
up from Clan McKenzie, Cameron, MacGregor,
Mackinnon, Murry, and Keith.
The Government Forces contained Clans such
as: Fraser, Ross, Sutherland, Mackay, and
1723 - Bernera
Barracks were built about 16 miles
southwest of the ruined Eilean Donan Castle to
house a large number of Government Troops.
These Forces were used to control the area and
try to prevent any further Jacobite
1746 - the Battle of Culloden was the
final defeat for the Jacobite's, the last
Battle on the British mainland.
1911 - John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the
Castle so he could have it restored to serve as
his family home.
1932 - Eilean Donan Castle was completed,
including the Arched Bridge to the Island.
1937 - John MacRae-Gilstrap died.
1948 - the Castle was used in the film
Charlie starring David Niven.
1955 - the Castle was opened to the public
by Mr John MacRae.
1983 - the Conchra trust was formed by the
MacRae's to care for the Castle.
1984 - the Castle is used in the film
starring Sean Connery.
1999 - the Castle is used in the James Bond
film The World is Not
Enough starring Pierce Brosnan.
Today - the Castle is popular for Photos,
Paintings, Castle Tours, Weddings, and as a
There are 20 Top
Castles in Scotland that attract vast
numbers of visitors, one of which is Eilean