Caisteal Maol (Castle Moil) was an ancient seat of the Mackinnon clan. It was a fortress commanding the strait of Kyle Akin between Skye and the mainland, through which all ships had to pass or else attempt the stormy passage of The Minch. The present building dates back to the 15th century, but is traditionally reputed to be of much earlier origin.

According to that tradition, Alpín mac Echdach"s great-grandson Findanus, the 4th MacKinnon chief, brought Dunakin into the clan around the year 900 by marrying a Norse princess nicknamed "Saucy Mary". Findanus and his bride ran a heavy chain across the sound and levied a toll on all shipping vessels.

Whatever the veracity of the castle"s traditional history, there is good reason for supposing the existence of a connection of some kind with Norway. King Haakon IV is thought to have assembled his fleet of longships there before the Battle of Largs in 1263 (hence the name Kyleakin - Haakon"s kyle). Haakon"s defeat at Largs effectively ended Norse domination of the Scottish islands. Medieval and early modern documents also refer to the castle itself as Dunakin, which is again strongly suggestive of a Norse connection.

The present structure is of late 15th or early 16th century construction. This is supported by historical documents and carbon dating. In 1513, a meeting of chiefs was held here and they agreed to support Donald MacDonald as Lord of the Isles. The last occupant of the castle was Neill MacKinnon, nephew of the 26th chief of the clan (c. 1601).

The castle is a simple rectangular keep of three stories. The unexplored basement level is filled with rubble and other debris and is believed to have contained the kitchen. The visitor today enters on the main level where the public dining space would have been. Stairs would have led up to the private apartments above.

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Founded: 15th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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en.wikipedia.org

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Amit Guglani (2 years ago)
Fantastic picturistic view... And tracking facility available too
Hans MacLambrechts (2 years ago)
Place with great views to the Skye Bridge, Kyle of Lochalsh & the hills on East Skye and over the Sound of Sleat to the mainland.
Beatriz Varona Fernandez (2 years ago)
Not recomendable from the backpakers we had a discount and altough the owner the kitchen and the menu is the same in the bar and in the restaurant apparently they are different and they said it wasnt admitted. Sorry but if kitchen, menu, waiters, building and food is the same whats the difference?? This is stupid!!
Baa! (2 years ago)
Grow up and stop giving it a bad rating just because you weren't careful and had a fall. This is not far from a cave where the lizard man lived. He lived in that cave for 30 years and go fishing every day. Once a week he took his canoe to the mainland to get his shopping. Sadly he died not long ago because the authorities tried to force him to integrate into society. They made him move into a house in Inverness and he died not long after because the stress was too much for him.
Tomas Johansson (2 years ago)
A small but nice ruin just by the weather. Worth a visit if you're here. One of many nice old ruins that I passed by during my roadtrip, in England, Wales and Scotland back in 2001, that I took time to visit and enjoyed exploring. Many still in good condition and maintained, both small ones and other massive.
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