Keiss Castle Ruins

Highland, United Kingdom

Keiss Castle is a partially ruined castle which was replaced by the Keiss House around 1755. The old castle was built possibly on the site of an earlier fort in the late 16th or early 17th century by George 5th Earl of Caithness (1582-1643). It seems the castle was in existence in 1623 when James I commissioned Sir Robert Gordon to enter Caithness with an armed force. The 7th Earl died in the castle in 1698 but it is reported that the castle was ruinous in 1700 and in 1726 as being in repair with 'at the side of it a convenient house lately built'. The estate was purchased by Sir William Sinclair, 2nd Baronet of Dunbeath early in the 18th century and in 1752 Keiss became his family seat.

The current house was built about 1755 but had to be sold in 1765 because of financial difficulties to the Sinclairs of Ulbster. This Category B Listed Baronial mansion was altered to its current form on the instructions of Col. K Macleay by David Bryce in 1860, during which it was extended in the Scottish baronial style. It was then sold to the Duke of Portland in 1866. Also included in the listing is the Walled garden to the NE of the house and the gate lodge and gate piers with cast-iron carriage gates installed in the 1860 alterations.



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A99, Highland, United Kingdom
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Founded: c. 1600
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam Knauz (2 years ago)
Along the NC500 route, this derelict and abandoned castle is a must see. It cannot be reached directly as it is on private land (and it is quite dangerous to be honest), but you can get pretty close to it on foot. Leave your car at Keiss Harbour and follow the path alongside the coast.
Leo Smit (2 years ago)
Parked at Keiss harbour (residential bit before the ramp down) and walked along the coast to the castle. Saw plenty of seals, cows, sheep, 2 pillboxes, great cliffsides, and ye olde castle. You can't get close to the actual castle and there is fencing to keep you away (and safe) which will ruin close photos.
Graham Coult (2 years ago)
Lovely place to walk to..
A Ross (2 years ago)
Lovely walk out to see the castle and doesn't take long
Magda L (2 years ago)
It is hard to reach from main road as situated on private land with no entry. There is a gate to castle from Keiss harbour that takes you to the castle through farm yard. Unfortunately, I didn't went there
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