Dark Skies at Eilean Donan Castle
by Bel Menpes
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Eilean Donan is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It lies about 1 kilometre from the village of Dornie, and is dominated by a picturesque castle which is familiar from many photographs and appearances in film and television. Eilean Donan is part of the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland.
Eilean Donan (which means simply "island of Donnán") is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains. The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century the Mackenzies were involved in the Jacobite rebellions, which led to the castle's destruction by government ships in 1719. The present buildings are the result of twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins by Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap.
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