Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Castle Craig - Ross and Cromarty

Castle Craig
Castle Craig

The remains of Craig Castle / Castlecraig, a 16th-century fortified tower, are perched on a rocky outcrop, on the shores of the Cromarty Firth. Naturally protected on three sides by steep drops to the shore, the tower would have originally been fortified on its landward side by battlements and round towers. The four-storey tower contains gunloops (openings for canon), fashionable at the time of building but possibly not very effective – perhaps they simply looked threatening from the outside!

The tower has vaulted floors which still survive and there are the remains of a large fireplace on the ground floor. A wing probably extended to the northwest but this has fallen to ruin.

The tower was probably built for the Urquharts of Cromarty. They held the hereditary sherrifdom of Cromarty and Craig Castle marks the western boundary of that sherrifdom. Nearby Cullicudden Burial Ground contains a burial enclosure of the family. Other fortified houses on the Black Isle belonging to the Urquharts included Kinbeachie Castle and Cromarty Castle but very little of these buildings remain today.

In the post-Reformation period, Craig Castle became associated with the Bishops of Ross who may have used it as a place of summer residence. It eventually became part of the Newhall Estate who gifted it to a descendent of the Urquhart family in 1959.

Added: 14 Apr 2010 Updated: 21 May 2019
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