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Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, Wick

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Castle
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe is located about 3 miles north of Wick on the east coast of Caithness, Scotland. It is considered to be one of the earliest seats of Clan Sinclair. It comprises the ruins of two castles: the 15th-century Castle Girnigoe; and the early 17th-century Castle Sinclair.HistoryThe earlier Castle Girnigoe was built by William Sinclair, the 2nd Earl of Caithness, probably sometime between 1476 and 1496, but certainly before his death at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. There is some evidence to suggest that the castle was built on the foundations of an earlier fortalice.In 1577, George Sinclair, the 4th Earl of Caithness, imprisoned his own son John, Master of Caithness, in Castle Girnigoe, on suspicion of rebelling against his rule. He was held there for seven years, after which his father fed him a diet of salted beef, with nothing to drink, so that he eventually died insane from thirst.Expansion occurred in 1606 when Castle Sinclair was built, comprising a gatehouse and other buildings, along with a curtain wall. These were connected to the earlier castle by a drawbridge over a ravine. The same year George Sinclair, the 5th Earl of Caithness, requested the Scottish Parliament to change the name to Castle Sinclair, but because the names Castle Sinclair and Castle Girinigoe were both written down in 1700, both names have been in use since.Robert Sinclair describes Girinigoe as “an adapted 5 storey L-plan crow-stepped gabled tower house, which sat upon a rocky promontory jutting out into Sinclair Bay. Of interest is the secret chamber in the vaulted ceiling of the kitchen.
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TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I visited this amazing place while on holiday recently at Ackergill Tower. You can get right inside the ruins and peer out down to the rocks below. We've never had the opportunity to vi...  more »
  • I was anxious to visit here as it is an ancestral home. The single lane road takes you out to the lighthouse point where you park at the top of the hill. You can barely see the castle but the signage ...  more »
  • Really lovely scenic walk. Interesting information board. Can't beat the Scottish coast line for its history.  more »