Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan

Scottish Island
Scottish Island Less

Eilean Donan

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Eilean Donan () is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge and lies about half a mile from the village of Dornie. Eilean Donan (which means simply "island of Donnán") is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.

The island is dominated by a picturesque castle which is widely familiar from many photographs and appearances in film and television. The castle was founded in the 13th century, but was destroyed in the 18th century. The present buildings are the result of 20th century reconstruction. Eilean Donan Castle is the home of the Clan Macrae.

Eilean Donan is part of the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland. In 2001, the island had a population of just one person.

Eilean Donan castle

Early history

The presence of a vitrified fort was recorded on the island in 1912, though the nature of any early fortification is uncertain. In the 13th century, a large curtain-wall castle (wall of enceinte) was constructed. At this time the area was at the boundary of the Norse-Celtic Lordship of the Isles and the Earldom of Ross: Eilean Donan provided a strong defensive position against Norse expeditions. By the late 13th...
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