Last years holiday to Scotland in 2017, was mostly a wash out, but we did have a few nice days and on one of these we came across Castle Tioram, sitting on the tidal island of Eilean Tioram.
Castle Tioram is a ruined castle that sits on the tidal island Eilean Tioram in Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland. It is located west of Acharacle, approximately 80 km from Fort William. You find it down a two mile bumpy single track road, but it is worth it.
We parked the car in the sandy carpark and walked across the sandbar causeway, you should watch the tide, but I should think it would be ok unless it was a very high tide, but its better to be on the safe side. We started to climb the grassy slope up to the castle gate. There had only been another couple, but they disappeared, so we were quite alone. We came to the gate, which was broken, the door was swung open, the following photo shows the gate from the inside……yes we went in, we should not have, as it is very dangerous, but we did. I think going into this castle is the closest I have been to a castle that had has not really been changed in hundreds of years. The owner wants to turn it into a house, which would be a terrible mistake, it needs to be consolidated and open to the public, its a little gem of history.
The origins of the structure you can see today, date back to the building of a castle at some point in the 1200s. This would have comprised a curtain wall, following the irregular plan still evident, though probably of rather lower height as there is evidence of the walls being heightened later in the castle’s life. Access was by the barrel vaulted gateway which remains the only entrance today. Over the following four centuries, Castle Tioram was altered and added to many times, but most of these changes affected the interior accommodation, with the result that the basic shape of the castle today would still be recognised by its original builders, some eight hundred years ago.
The castle courtyard is on two levels and is heavily over grown.
Castle Tioram was recorded as being in a poor condition when occupied by a garrison of 14 government troops during the 1715 Jacobite uprising.
The following are photos of the interior, which is not very safe, and I stayed outside trying to imagine what it would have been like about 800 years ago. Work was carried on consolidating the castle in the second half of the 1800s by the neighbouring estate and again in 1926, but one can’t help, but feel not enough was done. In 1997 it was sold and that brings us back to changing the castle into a house…..I do hope not, but something does need to be done, if the castle is not to fall into the sea.