The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The Castles of Scotland by Martin Coventry | Goblinshead | A comprehensive guide to 4,100 castles, towers, historic houses, stately homes and family lands
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available!
The ‘Bible of Scottish Castles’…now available! 

Dornoch Palace

Sutherland & Caithness: In Dornoch, just south of A949 (Castle Street) and Dornoch Cathedral.

 

Private   NH 797897   OS: 21   IV25 3SD

 

OPEN: Hotel. Weddings and events.
Tel: 01862 810216   Web: www.dornochcastlehotel.com  

Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the north-east Highlands of Scotland. Dornoch Palace: Dornoch Castle Hotel (© Martin Coventry)

Dornoch Palace or Castle consists of an altered 13th- or 14th-century tower of five storeys with a round 16th-century stair-tower. The main tower has two open rounds, and a gabled roof. Many of the windows have been enlarged, but the walls are still pierced by shot-holes. Adjoining this is a four-storey 16th-century wing with its own stair-tower. The castle has a courtyard and garden, and was extended and modified in the 19th century. The remaining tower is only one of the three original towers around the courtyard.

Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the north-east Highlands of Scotland. Dornoch Palace: Dornoch Castle Hotel (old postcard)

The entrance was at the foot of the stair-tower. The basement is vaulted and retains its original doors, the hall would have been on the first floor, with private chambers on the floors above. The building has been very altered inside, but the fireplace from the original kitchen can be seen in the bar and reception area. The lintel of the fireplace of the hall has also been revealed.

Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the north-east Highlands of Scotland. Dornoch Palace: Dornoch Castle Hotel (MacGibbon and Ross)

Dornoch Palace was built by the Bishops of Caithness, and the cathedral is close by. It passed to the Gordon Earls of Sutherland after the Reformation, whose main strongold was at Dunrobin. In 1567 George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness, had the town and cathedral burnt and the castle besieged to secure possession of Alexander, the young Earl of Sutherland (whose parents had been poisoned at Helmsdale Castle), although he is also said to have been abducted from Skibo. The castle held out for a month, but eventually surrendered on fair terms, although hostages given by the garrison were subsequently murdered. The castle was then burnt, and left a ruin until restored in the 19th century as a courthouse and jail. It has been a hotel since 1947.

Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the north-east Highlands of Scotland. Dornoch Palace: Dornoch Castle Hotel (old postcard)

The building is reputedly haunted by the ghost of Andrew McCornish, who was imprisoned after being charged with stealing sheep. Sightings of his phantom were reported at the end of the 19th century, and there have also apparently been recent manifestations in the oldest part of the building.
  The building was put up for sale in 2014 for offers of around £2.25 million.

Dornoch Cathedral, near Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the north-east Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel: Dornoch Cathedral (old postcard)

Much of the 13th-century cruciform-plan Dornoch Cathedral [NH 797896] survives, including the chancel and crossing piers, and the building was extensively restored in the 19th century – the cathedral is where Madonna had her son baptised. The cathedral was founded in 1233 by Gilbert de Moravia, Bishop of Caithness from 1233 until 1246. The burial ground was not in a good state in the 18th century, and a minister complained that pigs were digging up and eating freshly buried corpses. Dornoch is also believed to be the last place to witness the execution of a woman accused of witchcraft, Janet Horne, in 1722 or 1727. The poor woman was dragged through the streets of the burgh, then burned in a barrel of pitch – or so the story goes.

Inside of Dornoch Cathedral, by Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel is a fine and atmospheric old castle, long held by the Bishops of Caithness and then the Earls of Sutherland, and now a hotel, in the attractive town of Dornoch in Sutherland in the no Dornoch Palace or Dornoch Castle Hotel: Dornoch Cathedral (© Martin Coventry)

There are also stories of an underground passageway linking the palace to the nearby cathedral, into which all the bishop’s wealth was placed following the Reformation. Should the treasure ever be found, the story goes that this will herald the end of the Dukes of Sutherland.

Search also from Menu Bar

(sites, places, clans, names, films, dates)

GOBLINSHEAD ONLINE SHOP

(coming soon…)

Contact

Goblinshead

Cockenzie House
22 Edinburgh Road
Cockenzie

EH32 0HY

 

Email: info@thecastlesofscotland.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Martin Coventry