Lochindorb Castle

March 16, 2020
Lochindorb Castle

Lochindorb Castle has a sinister History

Lochindorb Castle Dava Moor

Lochindorb Castle is perched on a tiny island on the Lochof the same name and lies within the bleak landscape of Dava Moor. The castle oozes history along with tales of dastardly deeds and common sightings of a ghost.

No wonder it hails the name as in gaelic it translates to “Loch of Trouble”.

Lochindorb antique print

Lochindorb Castle

dates back to the 13th century and was the property and stronghold of the Comyns Lords of Badenoch. During the Wars of Independence the English were to relieve the Comyns of the castle under the orders of Edward I who in 1303 visited the area to oversee the ousting of its inhabitants whilst hunting in the surrounding woods and countryside.

Later in 1335 Andrew Moray the Regent attempted to capture the castle and placed it under seige, however, he had to withdraw before a large army led by Edward III arrived.

Around the 1370’s it’s history becomes even more sinister as the castle is gifted by King Robert 11 of Scotland to his 3rd son Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan also known as the Wolf of Baddenoch and it is believed that Lochindorb was his favourite property.

The Wolf of Badenoch

Married to Euphemia I, Countess of Ross, who was unable to bear him a legitimate child the Earl had taken a mistress, Mariota Athyn, who lived with him at his secluded island home of Lochindorb Castle. He requested a marraige annulment from the Bishop of Moray, Alexander Bur, who refused to annul the marraige and later excommunicated him.

His rath was to be felt in May 1390 as he and his men burnt the town of Forres and in the following June burnt the town of Elgin, the church of St Giles, the hospital of Maison-Dieu and the cathedral, with 18 homes of the canons and chaplains in the college of Elgin.

It was also reported that;

“He also plundered these churches of their sacred utensils and vestments which he carried off.”

Wolf of Baddenoch once owned Lochindorb Castle

Copyright Allan Todd

It is also likely that the Priory of Pluscarden was burned at the same time as there are traces of fire from around the 1390s still seen today in the building .

Some records state the The Wolf of Badenoch died in 1394, although others maintain is was in 1406, when it is believed that he played chess with the devil at Ruthven Castle, later to be named Ruthven Barracks.

The Legend has it that he was visited by a tall man dressed in black and the pair played through the night, with a storm conjured when the visitor called “check” and “checkmate”.

In the morning, the Wolf was found dead in the banqueting hall and his men too found lifeless outside the castle walls. The tomb of the Wolf can be found in Dunkeld Cathedral.

By Allan

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