Monday, 15 February 2010

Castle Tioram

(photo - Simon Willis)

Castle Tioram sits at the mouth of Loch Moidart on the rocky Eilean Tioram (Dry Island). Probably started around the 14th century, it's an imposing pile. It is associated with Clanranald, and particularly with the females of the clan. We had a stunning autumn paddle in October 2009 around Eilean Shona, starting beneath the castle on a bright, frosty morning.

The defensive position of the castle is well illustrated in this picture, but it had a flaw. built on an island called "Dry Island" - it didn't have a well and so couldn't withstand long sieges. Clanranald has a very bloody history. A very prominent clan which traces it origins to Somerled, Lord of the Isles, most of the chiefs up until the 18th century appear to have died by sudden or violent means.

(photo - Simon Willis)

Heading back towards the castle in the evening light via the north channel of Eilean Shona, Castle Tioram appeared calm and serene, afloat on its island. Sadly, the castle is the subject of a wrangle between the current owner who wants to convert it to a dwelling, and Historic Scotland (a government agency) who insist it must remain a ruin. Meantime, the building is suffering the ravages of time and weather.

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