Castles in The Outer Hebrides
Amhuinnsuidhe Castle is a large Baronial style mansion on the island of Harris. It was designed by architect David Bryce in 1865 for the 7th Earl of Dunmore who owned the island at the time. Bryce designed many large buildings such as Torosay Castle on Mull and Edinburgh’s Fettes College. The castle is reputed to have a very friendly ghost, that of Lady Sophia Scott.
The castle was always traditionally a sporting lodge and is still run as one today.
Ardvourlie Castle is a 7 bedroom shooting lodge sitting on the banks of Loch Seaforth on Harris. It was built for the Earl of Dunmore then later passed to the Scott family. The house was also owned by Thomas Sopwith the famous Aeroplane manufacturer and also Lord Leverhulme who was responsible for many attempted improvement of the island.
The house was recently put on the market for an asking price of over £695,000
Borve Castle is also known as Castle Wearie and Caisteal Bhuirgh. It is a 14th c Tower house on the South West of the Island of Benbecula.
The castle was occupied by the MacDonalds of Benbecula until the early 17th century. It was possibly built by Amy MacRuari a descendant of Somerled who was also responsible for improvement to Castle Tioram. Her son Ranald was the progenitor of the Macdonalds of Clanranald.
Calvary Castle (Caisteal Calbhaigh) is a ruined castle on the island of the same name near the approach of Loch Boisdale on South Uist. The castle may have been built by the MacRuaries of Garmoran, or by the MacNeils of Barra.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart hid in the castle in June 1746 while fleeing after the battle of Culloden
Calvay was once connected to the island via a causeway
Kisimul Castle sits in the bay of the village of Castlebay on Barra. The castle sits on a rocky islet and is only reachable by boat, earliest documented records of the castle go back to the 16th century but the MacNeils of Barra have occupied the site from the 11th century.
The castle was occupied up until 1838 when the island was sold after which it began to deteriorate and was partially dismantled. The castle was brought back into the hands of the MacNeil clan when Robert Lister MacNeil the then clan chief bought it in 1937, since then restoration work has been ongoing.
in 2001 the castle was leased to Historic Scotland by the chief of MacNeil. The 1000 year lease costs Historic Scotland £1 a year and a bottle of whisky.
Lews Castle is a large Victorian era castle located near Stornaway on the Island of Lewis. Designed by Charles Wilson, work was begun on the castle in 1847 as a private residence for Sir James Matheson, Matheson had amassed a fortune with the Jardine Matheson trading company , principally through the trade in opium. Indeed Matheson had made enough that he purchased the entire island.
Lord Leverhulme bought the castle along with the estate in 1918 and in 1923 he gifted Lews to the people of Stornaway. During WWII the castle became HMS Mentor. as accommodation for 700 Naval Air Squadron, a squadron of flying boats protecting shipping in the Atlantic. After the war the castle became college accommodation and is about to be turned into a museum and cultural centre.
Ormacleit Castle is a ruined 18th century mansion house on South Uist. It was built by Allan MacDonald of Clanranald, chief of the clan. He was killed at the battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715 and the legend has it that the castle burned down the same day.
Having only been occupied for around 10 years the castle was abandoned and the Clanranalds moved north to Nunton on Benbecula.
The castle was said to have a marble roof.