Knock Castle, (aka Caisteal Chamuis) is a former stronghold of the MacDonalds on the east coast of Sleat on the Isle of Skye.
The castle was constructed by the Clan MacLeod and later captured by the Clan MacDonald in the late 15th century. Ownership of the castle passed between the two clans several times. It was remodelled in 1596 by the MacDonalds. By 1689 the castle was abandoned and started to decay. Most of the stones were then used for nearby buildings.
It is claimed by tradition that the castle is haunted by a Green Lady, a gruagach - a ghost associated with the fortunes of the family who occupy the castle. The ghost will appear happy if good news is to come; if there is bad news she will weep. The castle is also said to have had a glaistig, a spirit which is said to have a particular concern with caring for the livestock.
Originally the13th century castle belonged to the Clan MacDonald of Sleat, a branch of the Clan Donald or MacDonald. At some time in the 14th century it was taken from them by the Clan MacLeod and held briefly by the MacAskills, allies of the MacLeods but it was recaptured by the MacDonalds sometime in the 15th century.
In the 15th century the castle was again captured by King James I of Scotland when the Chief of the Clan Donald, Lord of the Isles was broken by King James I. The MacDonalds were allowed to keep possession of the castle. The MacDonalds abandoned the castle in the early 17th century.
Dunscaith Castle also known as Dun Sgathaich Castle, is on the coast of the Isle of Skye, in the north-west of Scotland. It is located in the Parish of Sleat, in the Highland council area, and in the former county of Inverness-shire.
Originally the 13th century was the stronghold of the MacLeods and later the MacDonalds of Sleat. At some time in the 14th century it was taken back by the Clan MacLeod and held briefly by the MacAskills, allies of the MacLeods but it was recaptured by the MacDonalds sometime in the 15th century and became the seat of the MacDonalds of Skye.
After more than a century of sieges and inter-clan hostility, the Macdonalds moved back to Duntulm in the early 17th century, leaving the castle abandoned.
Among the many legends associated with Dunscaith are those recounted in Macpherson’s Ossian concerning the adventures of the Irish folk hero Cu Chulainn, who came here when he first landed in Skye. One tradition tells how he came here to learn the marshall arts of war from the warrior queen Sgathaich, whose home was in Dunscaith.
In Gaelic, it is called Dun Sgathaich, which translates to ‘Dun of Shadow’, perhaps because it sits in the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains?
Dunscaith is on the Isle of Skye, in the north-west of Scotland. It is located in the Parish of Sleat, in the Highland council area.