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Pictures from Doug and Pat Ross on their trip to Scotland 2007
Dunvegan Castle & Gardens on Skye


Among the things that can be seen in Dunvegan Castle, 22 miles west of Portree, are the famous Fairy Flag and Rory Mor's horn.

Precious little remains of the Fairy Flag. [It looks like an old rag!]  Legend has it that this sacred banner will bring success to the chief or his clan if unfurled in an emergency. [It is already flattened and framed under glass!] However, the charm will only work on three occasions and it has already been used twice to secure MacLeod victories in battle. The fabric, thought once to have been dyed yellow, is silk from the Middle East (Syria or Rhodes); experts have dated it between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D. Perhaps it was the war banner of Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, killed in 1066, as some believe.

Rory Mor's horn, a large horn, can hold two litres of claret, and every chief since Rory was expected to drink it down in one draught to prove his manhood.

The garden consists of three main areas.  There is a water garden with a fine natural waterfall from which a burn runs through the garden to the sea below the castle. The round garden has a central circular bed like a wheel with the spokes of the wheel delineated by small box hedges and also contains a large Monkey Puzzle (Aurucaria aurucaria). The walled garden was probably a kitchen garden, but it now has some fruit trees along the walls, a pond and a semi-circle of stone seats. There are many rhododendrons throughout the spacious gardens. 


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