Since 1919


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Aedes Ars 1011

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Quick Overview

Eilean Donan Castle


Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Duich, Highlands, Scotland.
14th century.

Scale 1:135.
Difficulty grade 8/10.
Dimensions (mm) 900 x 340 x 230.


The monument and its history

Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic Eilean Donnáin), is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge and is located about half a mile from the village of Dornie. Eilean Donan simply means "Donnan Island". The island is dominated by a picturesque castle. The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings. By the end of the 13th century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail (later the Earls of Seaforth). In 1511, the MacRaes, as protectors of the Mackenzie, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle. In 1539 Iain Dubh Matheson, head of the Matheson Clan died while defending the Castle on the Eilean Donan island against the MacDonald Clan of Sleat on behalf of the Macrae Clan and Mackenzie Clan.

In April 1719 the castle was occupied by Spanish troops who tried to start another Jacobite on the rise. The castle was taken back, and then demolished, by three frigates of the Royal Navy on 10-13 May 1719. The Spanish troops were defeated a month later in the battle of Glen Shiel. The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap. The restoration involved the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle. In 1983 the Conchra Charitable Trust was formed by the Macrae family to take care of the Castle. A curious distinction is that it has one of only two left-handed spiral staircases in a castle in Britain, as the king who reigned at the time of construction held a sword with his left hand. Eilean Donan is the home of the Macrae Clan. In 2001, the island had a population of one person. The castle is one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland and a popular venue for weddings and film tours.

Additional Information

Manufacturer AEDES
Train scale 1:135
Binary No

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