Tulloch Castle probably dates to the mid-16th century, when Duncan Bane was granted the barony of Tulloch in 1542. Over the years, it has served as a family home for members of the Bain family and Clan Davidson, as a hospital after the evacuation of Dunkirk, and as a hostel for the local education authority. It is currently used as a hotel and conference centre.
Tulloch Castle has been subject to several structural changes throughout its existence. There are two records of fires, in 1838 and 1845, when areas of the castle were destroyed. There are also records of renovations and extensions to the castle in 1513, 1665, 1675, 1747 and in the early 1920s when the roof was replaced, stonework around the windows was repaired and electric lighting was installed.
Tulloch Castle has many interesting features. A tunnel runs from the basement of the castle under the town of Dingwall to the old site of Dingwall Castle. The tunnel has now collapsed, but it is possible to view this passageway through an air vent on the front lawn of the castle’s grounds.
There is a Davidson cemetery in the grounds of the castle for family members and pets. The graveyard is surrounded by a metal fence and has become overgrown, though some of its headstones are still visible.
The castle had two gatehouses and entrance paths. The west gatehouse no longer exists but the other gatehouse still exists as a privately owned house. This gatehouse was built in 1876 and the path which connects it to the castle has become a public road. This road is still used as the main entrance to the castle today.
On a hill to the north of the castle stands 'Caisteal Gorach', a late 18th-century folly which was designed by Robert Adam for Duncan Davidson of Tulloch. The folly comprises a ruined round tower and flanking walls, and is a category A listed building.References:
It was Phyllis Vickers who in 1994 inherited the barony of Tulloch. The current Baron is Dr. David Willien of Tulloch.
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).