21 kilometers left until arrival, almost there but my morning’s schedule didn’t allow me for more. Still I had time to quickly visit Castle Sinclair Girngoe and here are some interesting facts about it:
This romantic ruin is the only castle in Scotland to be listed by the World Monuments Fund, and is subject to a significant preservation programme, to make sure that future generations can enjoy it.
You will find reference to both Castle Sinclair and Castle Girnigoe on maps, and there would appear to be two ruined castles, separated by a moat. However, a larger moat surrounds the whole site, and there is paperwork evidence to suggest that Fourth Earl of Caithness requested the name-change from Girnigoe to Sinclair in 1606, leading to both names being in common use.
Ironically, the castle was said to have been destroyed by cannon fire by a later Sinclair in 1680, to stop it being seized to cover debts, although archaeological evidence would suggest significant occupation by Cromwell’s troops, who almost certainly started the demolition themselves.
Archaeological work is ongoing, so it’s worth checking in on the tangled history of this enigmatic ruin from time to time, as more evidence is uncovered as to not only its sad end, but its life and use.