Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future


Fairburn Tower (Ross) Past and Present

Fairburn Tower
Fairburn Tower as it was around the year 1900

Fairburn Tower, a roofless 16th century tower house, is situated at Muir of Ord in Ross and is a short drive away from Inverness.

The former stronghold of Clan Mackenzie, it consists of an oblong tower to which a four storey stair tower was added in the 17th century. The basement is vaulted and provided with gun loops. The entrance was originally at first floor level.

Fairburn is in a bad state of repair. The stair tower is in a perilous state being cracked from top to bottom and in immediate danger of collapse. The tower is on the Buildings at Risk and Historic Environment Scotland's Castle Registers .

In 2006 the intention to restore was posted but nothing was done and Fairburn continued to deteriorate. Unless something is done the crack will widen and the whole tower will crash down as did Benholm Tower under similar circumstances.

Restoration plans announced in 2018

Exciting plans to restore A-listed Fairburn Tower and convert it into holiday accommodation were announced by The Landmark Trust in May 2018. Historic Environment Scotland have agreed to support the £1.8 million project with a grant for £455,000. You can read more about the plans on The Landmark Trust's website by clicking here .

Fairburn Tower in the present day
Fairburn Tower in the present day

CLAN CONNECTION - Clan Mackenzie


Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle



Added: 04 Sep 2013 Updated: 11 Jun 2018
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Comments found: (1)
Comment by: Brian McGarrigle on Fri, 11th May 2018, 4:19 pmRef id: 125

Good news! The Landmark Trust has launched a fund-raising in a bid to restore Fairbairn and HES has promised a grant of £455,000 towards the project, which will cost around £1.82m . The Trust is a charity with a track record in restoring historic buildings for let such as Saddell Castle in Argyll and Rosslyn Castle in Lothian. If you want to know more check out: www.landmarktrust.org.uk

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