The Ghosts Of Ardvreck At Work by artwhiz47

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The Ghosts Of Ardvreck At Work by 

Many fine, artistic & atmospheric photographs of Ardvreck Castle have been posted on RedBubble, & I have commented upon & favored some. But I feel it is time for me to add a new & different view, if not a different viewpoint.

Ray & I had visited Loch Assynt & Ardvreck in years past, but the photos we had taken with our trusty Kodak Instamatics & such were not what you’d call artistic. In fact, they were just barely competent. And so we were very pleased at the prospect of getting the definitive shot as we motored along Loch Assynt en route to Lochinver in Sutherland, Scotland. Anticipation mounted… the weather was the perfect Scottish blend of clouds & sun & sun & clouds, racing, chasing, never quite raining. We stopped along the A837 a couple of times to photograph scenery & just to drink it all in, & then, suddenly, Ardvreck hove in sight… or perhaps it was the Ardvreck Holiday Inn, or maybe a more upscale hostelry such as the Ardvreck Hilton. What ho! What gives? Ardvreck was undergoing some much-needed repair, so that brides & grooms & their minions who slogged their way (when the loch level was particularly high, anyway) over to be married beneath the walls of this most intriguing of ruins would not be beaned by boulders & finer rubble. We groaned, & then we laughed. But you have to admit… it DOES look like some kind of modern hotel, at least from a distance.

Ardvreck was built in the late 16th Century by the MacLeods, & is perhaps best known as the site of James Graham’s, the Marquis of Montrose, betrayal by Neil MacLeod in 1650. The facts surrounding this evil deed are shrouded in historical mystery, but it was ever thus. In any case, it led to Montrose’s being placed upon a pony & led in ignominy to Edinburgh where he was hanged. Later, Ardvreck & the lands of Assynt were taken by the MacKenzies.

Ardvreck is now back to normal & looks like the historical heap that it should be. It is a place of great energy, great beauty, great history, & great atmosphere.

Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Scotland. September 2003


scotland, ardvreck castle, loch assynt, sutherland, ruins, montrose, history

A short bio, eh? I am Sheila, & I am short.

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  • Keith Reesor
    Keith Reesor11 months ago

    Excellent capture and commentary Sheila!! :)

  • Thanks, Keith! Ray said he’d sent a link to this in his reply to your comment on his County Hall pic… was looking at the CH scaffolding the other day, trying to figure out how to get St. Joe’s spire, the CH tower & City Hall all in one shot. Ah, the dilemma of the artist….

    – artwhiz47

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicks11 months ago

    Love the history behind this Sheila – Lovely image, will be even nicer when the scaffolding has been removed !

  • Yes indeed… this mess had been corrected by spring of 2004, as I understand it, but we haven’t been back up there since ’03. But as I say, Ardvreck is well represented on RB… lots of beautiful shots of The Real Thing, sans scaffolding! Thank you, Roy.

    – artwhiz47

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brown11 months ago

    What we have here is the insalation of the Ant-Midgie Barrier!
    All Castles in Scotland are having this latest innovation installed!
    They say it will transform the quality of life for all the people who live in castles :o) xx

  • I hope the Ghosts qualify as ‘people who live in castles’… there’s nothing worse than an itchy ghost. They can get very BUGnacious. To coin a phrase. Yes, I like your take on this odd scene. We rarely travel in midge season… I have a feeling they (& their minions) would eat me alive. Thanks, Robin.

    – artwhiz47

  • peaky40
    peaky4011 months ago

    Wonderful image and history Shelia!

  • Thank you kindly, Roy. And for the favorite!

    – artwhiz47

  • Robin Brown
    Robin Brown11 months ago

    We Tip!
    Avon sell a product. I think its called Skin So Soft!
    Best bug repellant ever!
    Available in many good outdoor stores!
    I’ve been to the west of Scotland a few times & never had a Midgie problem.
    Been the The Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William, no fear the bugs keep clear!

  • We expected midges when we traveled to Argyll in late May/early June 2007… even asked a friend who’s a good cook & who lives there if she thought she could make the wee beasties palatable… visited Kilmartin at that time & never saw one midge. Didn’t eat any, either. The only place we have encountered midges was at Luss on Loch Lomond, & there it was a matter of ten or twelve. On the other hand… in northern Ontario where we have a cabin, we have the Dreaded Blackfly… Blackflies LOVE me, & I am slightly allergic to them. May & June are the end all & be all of Blackfly predation, & you can actually hear them laughing at Skin So Soft. I agree, though; in general it’s good stuff.

    – artwhiz47

  • Here is what it is like in Blackfly heaven….

    – artwhiz47

  • joak
    joak11 months ago


  • Ha & ha! I’m positively hiccupping with delight!! You didn’t try to drink the whole bay, did you? Thankee, Joak.

    – artwhiz47

  • Bobby Dar
    Bobby Dar11 months ago

    Great job

  • Thanks so much, Bobby!

    – artwhiz47

  • shadowlea
    shadowlea11 months ago

    beautiful capture

  • Many thank for that. Not every day you get a chance at a peculiarly pretty shot like this!

    – artwhiz47

  • Elfriede Fulda
    Elfriede Fulda11 months ago

    Fascinating history and great shot !

  • Thanks so much, Elfriede, & for the favorite! It was such an odd sight, this.

    – artwhiz47

  • Gene Walls
    Gene Walls11 months ago

    Great shot, Sheila! When I first looked, I thought “what is that monstrosity doing in this wonderful scene?” I was so relieved to read your description and learn that an appropriate structure was hiding under the modern chaos. Outstanding capture and story!

  • Haha… fancy how we felt when this unexpected ‘monstrosity’ (indeed) appeared to our wondering eyes. But you couldn’t argue with the setting, so, I made the best of it! Thanks, Gene.

    – artwhiz47

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