Rait Castle is a ruined hall-house castle dating from the 13th century. The remains of the courtyard walls are nine feet high and also contain the remains of the Chapel of St Mary of Rait. The building was a two story building, measuring 20 metres by 10 metres. It had an unvaulted basement and an upper hall. The hall was entered from the outside and was protected by a portcullis and a drawbar. The walls of the castle are nearly 6 feet thick. A tower projects from one corner of the castle and there is a garderobe tower on the west side that projects nearly 13 feet.
The castle was originally a property of the Cumming (Comyn) family who were also known by the name of de Rait. Sir Alexander Rait killed the third Thane of Cawdor (chief of Clan Calder), and then fled south where he married the heiress of Hallgreen. The castle later passed from the Clan Cumming (Comyn) to the Clan Mackintosh and then to the Clan Campbell of Cawdor.
In 1442, when the castle passed to the Mackintoshes from the Clan Cumming a feast was held at the castle between the two families which ended in the slaughter of most of the Comyns. The laird blamed his daughter who he chased around the castle. She climbed out of a window but he chopped off her hands and she fell to her death. The castle is said to be haunted by her ghost, with no hands.
The Duke of Cumberland is said to have stayed at the castle before the Battle of Culloden in 1746, although the last recorded reference to the castle was in 1596.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.