Carbisdale Castle

After leaving Findhorn, I spent one night at the Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel, a little bit north of Inverness. It is a youth hostel in rambling castle in the middle of a forest. Outside, the building is complete with towers and turrets. Inside it is decorated with statues and portraits, with lots of grand staircases and twisty little passage ways. Picture the castle in “Harry Potter”, and the house from “The Haunting”. (Carbisdale Castle is rumored to be haunted by a ghost who appears as a lady in white, but I didn’t have any supernatural experiences while I was there.)

The castle is not all that ancient, but has gathered a bit of history over it’s 100 year existence. It was built by the duchess of somewhere or other. She married into the Sutherland family, but did not get on well with her in-laws. When her husband died, there was a massive battle over the will, which ended with the family agreeing to build a house for the duchess, and support her for the rest of her days, on one condition: that she not live on Sutherland land. She built her castle just over the Sutherland border. The castle has a clock tower, with clocks on three sides, but not south toward the Sutherland land. She wouldn’t give them the time of day. Later, during the second world war, the castle was the seat of the Norwegian royal family in exile.

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