Kilravock Castle, Croy – Clan Rose
Pronounced, ‘Kilrock’, Kilravock Castle is located only a stone’s throw away from the banks of the River Nairn and is the historic home of the Scottish Rose Clan.
Now dominating the surrounding landscape with its 5-storey watchtower, the site of the castle would have humble beginnings as it was originally occupied by an ancient church built there in the aftermath of the first wave of Christianity in Scotland during the 6th century A.D.
This church would eventually be replaced by a primitive house which was constructed from a blend of stone and wood – and it is believed that the first six generations of the Rose family resided here after the land was transferred under their control at the beginning of the 13th century.
The castle that remains today would eventually be built around the middle of the 15th century after the 7th Baron of Kilravock was granted a license by the Lord of the Isles. It is believed the same architect who worked on the nearby Cawdor Castle also worked on Kilravock as the same mason’s marks can be found in the doorway of each structure.
Visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1562, the castle would be gradually extended over the following centuries before welcoming Bonnie Prince Charlie for 4 days in the lead up to the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Not a place to discriminate, Kilravock would welcome the enemy of the prince, the Duke of Cumberland, soon after the battle was over and would also receive a visit from Robert Burns 30 years later.
In more recent times, Kilravock would be taken over by a charitable Christian trust, before functioning as a bed and breakfast. It is now a Category A listed building and is no longer occupied by the Rose Clan.
Sadly, the castle is also now closed to visitors – although the surrounding gardens are occasionally opened to the public and contain a plethora of rare and interesting plants and trees. It is hoped that the castle will open up in the near future as a building with such a vast and interesting history deserves to be visited and learned about by all – especially members of the Rose Clan who are eager to return to their ancestral home.