Coastal Castles of Clan Donald – exhibition

Start: Thursday 6 August, 10.00am - End: Saturday 31 October 2020, 4.00pm

Romantic, evocative and steeped in history, Scotland’s castles are iconic. And nothing captures the imagination more than a castle standing guard over the sea.

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 this exhibition looks at castles along Scotland’s Western Seaboard that have a particular association with Clan Donald. As Lords of the Isles in medieval times, Clan Donald commanded the sea routes that were vital to maintaining power over this wild and inaccessible country. Their castles are touchstones to a remarkable period in Scotland’s history.

Using prints, drawings and maps from the museum archive, as well as photography and film, the exhibition traces the evolution of the clan’s castles from 10th century fortification to 19th century mansion house.  Featured castles include the ancient Lordship seat of Finlaggan on Islay; Scotland’s the earliest surviving stone castle, Castle Sween in Argyll; the ruined tower house of Ormacleit on South Uist; and Castle Camus (Knock Castle) on Skye – the site of bloody inter-clan rivalry and evocative legend. Along the way we encounter characters and stories associated with the castles such the Warrior Queen Scathach of Dunscaith, and castle-builder Amie MacRuari.

Entry is included in your ticket to Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum. The exhibition is open during normal Museum of the Isles opening times – check these on our Plan Your Visit page. The exhibition will also continue into the 2021 season.

Exhibition kindly sponsored by Torabhaig Distillery.