Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brochel Castle Ruins on the Isle of Raasay

Brochel's stone walls were not made of stone from Raasay...Approaching view.
On my trip to Scotland, I traveled off the beaten trail to the Isle of Raasay, nestled in the Sound of Raasay between the mainland and the Isle of Skye. I took a small ferry to the island, which is 14 miles long. Without any signage, I followed my gut (asked someone) and managed to find the lonely single-track road to Brochel.

Arriving, I almost missed it. At the back of a sheep paddock, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sound, the ruins loomed from a deserted and forgotten era. Poorer than dirt, the crofters on the island used the stones from the ruins to build their own cottages (now also in ruins), thus not much remains of the once great castle.

Brochel was acquired by Malcolm (Calum) Garbh MacLeod, 1st of Raasay (b1532/d BEF 1567--Also know as MacGillechalum). The lands were a gift from his father, the 9th Chief of Lewis. Malcolm and his clan were notorious pirates, making a tidy profit from their sea-robbing adventures.


Brochel's hollow and lonely passageway.

This is the view from the shore (East) side. On the left would have been the stairwell.

Brochel from the car park, looking toward the mainland...not much remains

I was surprised that the beach was rocky...But wouldn't the castle have been a sight in its day, presiding over the shore?

The sheep were as curious as I 

In my upcoming novel, CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD (Feb. 17), Calum MacLeod is a pirate, dubbed "Robinhood of Raasay". He plunders an English ship only to find a stunning English noblewoman hidden in a stateroom. He has no choice but to take Lady Anne to his keep on the Isle of Raasay and send a letter of ransom to a husband whom she's never met...



12 comments:

  1. Pirates and Scotsmen?! So excited! Will it be available on Nook?

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    1. Absolutely! It will be available in print right away, too!

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  2. A thought that always comes to mind when I see castles...how much mankind could have accomplished if we weren't so involved in protecting and warring. --Purdy pictures

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  3. Love the pics, and the way you've used your travels for your novel writing!

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    1. Thank you, my travels have helped me bring realism to my stories :-)

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  4. Awesome post! I loved your pics since I've never seen this castle before. Your book sounds great! I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Thanks, Vonda...that means a lot coming from you!!!

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  5. If only the castle could tell us how it arrived in this condition. Look forward to reading your book!!

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    1. Ah, yes, Paisley. Wouldn't that be amazing?

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  6. I live on the isle of Raasay so his should be a fun read :)
    (if only there were some blokes here resembling the cover ;) )

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    1. Sooooooo cool, Carol! I wish I could live on Raasay. All three books take place on Raasay in the 16th Century...of course they're romanticized romances with jaw-dropping alpha heroes, but I did try to make the setting come to life.

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