We are taking a little break from our regular format to talk about the amazing place we are staying this week. Little just filmed a video tour to share with his friends and although I will need to edit it before we publish it here, we thought we would spend a little time writing about Muckrach Castle!
Muckrach was given to on of the Grant Laird’s sons in 1583 and was completed in 1598. There is a stone above the entryway dated 1598. In the 1700’s another Laird Grant built the nearby town on Granton (Granton-on-Spey) to provide for the locals, to build an economy on hunting and fishing and lodges after crop failure and famine. The Grants held a number of castles in the area.
Muckrach Castle is a 16th century tower house, heavily fortified. It was originally constructed as a square keep with a courtyard. The keep had a vaulted basement, which serves as the kitchen. The great hall is on the first floor and there were two further floors above accessed by spiral staircases in the turrets. Between the two floors of bedrooms above the great hall is another bedroom with twin bunk beds built into the walls on each floor. Each bedroom has the remnants of the old fireplaces that would have kept the castle warm in this cold weather.
The castle is located three miles from Granton and a half mile from the tiny town of Dunlian Bridge; and right next to the Muckrach Country House, a very fancy hotel with a restaurant we are looking forward to visiting soon.
I’m not going to lie. Renting an entire castle in the middle of nowhere can feel a little like a Scooby Doo episode. I still haven’t seen the caretaker yet I’ve been frightened more times than I would like to count. Ghost stories in the guest book, voices, lights turning off, doors unlocking. We have a couple bedrooms not being used because my brave 6 year old couldn’t last a night in his own room, even though he begged to have it. But it also has it’s rewards; this is a way to really learn about the highlands and experience them in a way no one I know has. We haven’t met any other Americans in our adventures as of late.
We really love finding unique places to stay; this trip includes the Pub in Dingle and another castle in Dublin, which is much larger and will be a much different experience. Muckrach has felt a little more like a lodge in the woods; our visitors have been mostly the local sheep and a friendly Highlands Cow that greets us as we come in and out.