Dornoch Castle

Dornoch Castle is located in the village of Dornach in
Sutherland, Scotland. The castle was built in the 1500’s as the home of the
bishops of Caithness. Bishop Robert Stewart gifted the castle to his
brother-in-law, John Gordon, 11th Earl of Sutherland in 1557. Due to
a feud between the McKays and the Murrays in 1570, the castle suffered through
a fire and had to be rebuilt; this is when the upper part of the tower was
added. The castle lay in ruins during the 18th century, but was
restored in the early 19th century to serve as a school and jail.
(How those two go together is beyond me.) The castle became a courthouse and
was made the headquarters of the Sheriff of Sutherland in 1859-60. Further
alterations were made in 1880, with the addition of the three-story east tower.
The castle passed into private hands in 1922 and was modernized. Dornoch Castle
also served as a hunting lodge and in 1947 it became a hotel. Dornoch Hotel has
22 en suite rooms, each with its own theme. The castle sits across from a 12th
century cathedral, making the Dornoch a popular wedding venue. Dornoch Castle
has a Whisky Bar and holds whisky tasting events throughout the year. The
Whisky Bar and reception room boasts 15th century stonewalls, with
oak paneling and Caithness slab flooring. The distillery is located on the
grounds of the hotel and the Whisky Bar is globally recognized as one of the
best in Scotland. There’s also a Garden Restaurant that overlooks the formal
walled gardens.