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InformationVisitor Information:
Grid Ref: NG 862 355
The Ruins of Strome Castle from the East End
The Ruins of Strome Castle from the East End

Until 1973 Strome was a much busier place than it is today, for the main road from Achnasheen to Kyle of Lochalsh followed the north west side of Loch Carron from Lochcarron to a ferry which plied between here and Strome Ferry on the far shore.

North Side of the Ruin from the Road
North Side of the Ruin from the Road
South Side of the Ruin from the Road
South Side of the Ruin from the Road
Strome Castle from the West
Strome Castle from the West

It is easy to imagine many of those waiting for their ferry exploring the nearby ruins of Strome Castle. But the ferry disappeared with the completion of a road along the south east shore of Loch Carron to its head, and with it went most of the visitors to the castle.

Today's Strome Castle has a slightly sad and neglected air. On the plus side this gives a visit a sense of exploration: on the down side it makes access much more difficult for all but the completely able and well-shod.

Castle Walls
Castle Walls
Strome Castle in its Prime?
Strome Castle in its Prime?
Actually, this is Invermark Castle,
and far from in its prime: but it
gives a general idea of the sort of
structure Strome Castle once was

Strome Castle was built in in the 1400s. Its position is a strategically important one, guarding the north side of the Strome Narrows near the mouth of Loch Carron and the ancient ferry crossing here. And its position is also a commanding one, on a rocky bluff, surrounded by steep drops to the shore and sea on three sides.

The noticeboard shows a reconstruction that suggests Strome Castle was a tower house, looking a little like Invermark Castle, shown right. If so, it would have been truly spectacular in this location.

After a century or so in which the castle changed hands a number of times, it was granted by James V to the Macdonalds of Glengarry in 1539. For the next 63 years the Macdonalds intermittently fought to keep possession of it with their neighbours, the Mackenzies of Kintail.

In 1602 the castle was besieged by Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord of Kintail. Mackenzie was on the point of giving up the siege when, one night, some Macdonald women drawing water from the castle's well accidentally deposited it in the barrel containing the castle's stocks of gunpowder rather than in the barrel containing their immediate supply of water. A Mackenzie prisoner in the castle overheard the argument that followed and in the confusion escaped to inform Kenneth Mackenzie that the castle was now effectively defenceless.

The Macdonald garrison negotiated their surrender and safe passage and, after they had departed, the Mackenzies blew up the castle, leaving it very much as you see it today.

Seen in its Setting from the West: the Castle is Visible Between the Two White Buildings
Seen in its Setting from the West:
the Castle is Visible Between the Two White Buildings
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