Ardvreck castle wider view
The castle is thought to have been constructed around 1590 by the Clan MacLeod family who owned Assynt and the surrounding area from the 13th century onwards. Indeed Sutherland, the area in which Ardvreck is situated, has long been a stronghold of the clan MacLeod. The most well known historical tale concerning the castle is that on April 30th 1650 James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, was captured and held at the castle before being transported to Edinburgh for trial and execution. Montrose was a Royalist, fighting on the side of Charles I against the Covenanters. Defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale, he sought sanctuary at Ardvreck with Neil MacLeod of Assynt. At the time, Neil was absent and it is said that his wife, Christine, tricked Montrose into the castle dungeon and sent for troops of the Covenanter Government. Montrose was taken to Edinburgh, where he was executed on 21 May 1650, by hanging, drawing and quartering.
Ardvreck Castle was attacked and captured by the Clan MacKenzie in 1672, who took control of the Assynt lands.