To the north of the village of Dunvegan, Skye, and surrounded on three side by the sea is the Castle of Dunvegan, the home of the chiefs of the Clan Macleod since 1200. The castle was once accessible only by boat, but now the moat has been bridged and the castle opened to
the public. Parts of it are reputed to date from the 9th Century but the massive four-square tower shows signs of additional building from the 15th to 19th Century.
Dunvegan may not be the oldest Scottish castle still standing today but it claims to be the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland today. The interior, which has over the centuries been greatly modernised, contrasts dramatically with the outward signs of powerful defence. It has walls ten feet thick and a 15th Century dungeon, and houses many treasures including relics of Bonnie Prince Charlie, manuscripts of Sir Walter Scott and Dr. Johnson. Rory Mor's two-handed sword and the "fairy flag" thought to have been captured from the Saracens during a Crusade. The legend tells that once the flag is waved it will bring relief to the chief or any of his clan, ensuring a
MacLeod victory. If spread on his marriage bed it will endow the chief with children, or if unfurled at Dunvegan will charm the herring in the loch. The gift was made by the fairies on condition that it was used only in emergencies: twice it was flown in battle, and twice the Macleods won. Dunvegan Castle is still the centre of the MacLeod clan. who come here from all over the world.
To Tour Skye