Eilean Donan undergoes major restoration work
Major repair works to protect its future are being carried out by owners of the Highland castle near the west coast village of Dornie.
The castle, which has featured in films such as Highland, Braveheart and Bond epic The World is Not Enough, is currently surrounded by scaffolding and security fencing.
Work started last month to resurface the building’s west face, overlooking the meeting point of Loch Long, Loch Alsh and Loch Duich and across to the Isle of Skye.
Castle Keeper David Win issued a warning on the official website, stating: “People travel for miles and miles to visit us, and as such, to avoid any potential disappointment, I just wanted to take the opportunity to highlight to all our visitors that now the project to reharl the west face of the main keep of the castle has officially started, there will be quite a difference in the old girl’s appearance for a couple of months.
“The work entails a very large scaffolding to be erected on the sea-facing side of the building. Some of which will certainly be visible from the shore.
“This will not impact on what you are able to explore inside the castle itself, including our brand new exhibition - however there is no doubt that she won’t be looking her most photogenic best until after the 31st of May when the project will be completed.
“Unfortunately, this type of work cannot be completed during the quiet winter months due to the vagaries of the Scottish weather, however it truly is essential maintenance to safeguard the very fabric of the castle for the long term future.
“I really hope this doesn’t put anyone off their visit, and would like to thank you for your patience, on-going support and understanding.”
As one of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is recognised all around the world.
Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish highlands.
Although first inhabited around the 6th century, the first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century and stood guard over the lands of Kintail.
Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and rebuilt as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries.
Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins for the best part of 200 years until Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911 and proceeded to restore the castle to its former glory. After 20 years of toil and labour the castle was re-opened in 1932
Eilean Donan Castle is owned by the Conchra Charitable Trust.
Over recent years the Trust has implemented a programme of substantial improvements and developments.
The 1996 season witnessed the opening of six furnished bedrooms on the third floor of the Castle, which were renovated and decorated.
In 1997 public access and road safety were improved by the redesigning of the A87 trunk road to incorporate a three lane access junction at the entrance to the Castle.
April 2000 marked the opening of the boarded walkway around the area to the bastion and well.