Dun Ringill is an Iron Age hill fort on the Strathaird peninsula. Further fortified in the Middle Ages, tradition holds that it was for several centuries the seat of Clan MacKinnon. The original structure is consistent with an Iron Age Broch dating to approximately the first years of the common era. The main and subordinate structures have been occupied and modified throughout its history until the 19th century. Tradition relates that the structure was occupied by the MacKinnons as their clan seat well before the 16th century. It is mentioned in historical texts in the 16th century after which the MacKinnons moved their seat to Dunakin.
Dun Ringill today is a stacked stone ruin overlooking Loch Slapin. The present structure is approximately 4 meters in height and 16 meters on each side with a ditch following the outer wall. Its most notable feature is the central landward facing doorway approximately 1.8 meters high that leads into the center of the structure. The interior of the structure contained two rectangular buildings 4.5 meters by 2.4 meters. The original layout was similar to that of a broch, a form of complex Atlantic roundhouse.
A stone wall foundation encloses area adjacent to the structure. Similarly to other castles and fortified houses, the wall probably formed a defensive perimeter and livestock enclosure. The remains of the wall itself are hidden by vegetation. A site survey has shown that there are remains of other buildings in the immediate vicinity; and although their age is uncertain, it is likely their construction and occupation was throughout the history of Dun Ringill up until the 19th century.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.