Rait Castle Ruins

Highland, United Kingdom

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.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Frustrated Traveller (2 years ago)
You have to drive up track to reach this castle, please drive with care as it’s used by farm vehicles and animals, there’s no proper car park but you are able to park. Lovely quiet little spot, when I visited it was full of bluebells, lots of song bird’s singing.
Brad Sears (2 years ago)
Beautiful Castle on some farmland in the middle of no where. No ideal parking, we had the driver stay with the vehicle incase someone needed us to move. Walking up to the Castle you have to open the gate and continue walking until you get to two more gates. We went to the left gate and up to the front of the Castle. The right gate went into the wooded area and we didn’t bother going that way. Remarkable piece of history.
D B (3 years ago)
Beautiful old ruins not easily accessible to all being located behind farmland, not suitable for wheelchair users.No parking as such. The Ruins themselves are steeped in history and are well worth a visit, the community who look after Rait Castle are doing a great job.
Billy Montgomery (3 years ago)
I like old ruined castles where you can imagine the walls could tell a tale or two. This castle fits the bill....thankfully I didn't see the resident ghost with her missing hands ?
David Mcdonald (4 years ago)
Greatly disappointed that due to a couple of cows in the field we were unable to access the castle, the gate is great for leaning on and looking disappointed. Ill give the cow with horns a strong 5 stars for looking intimidating.
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