Eilean Donan Castle, Outlander, and Serendipity…

Serendipity: noun. Definition: good luck in discovering unexpected things. (vocabulary-vocabulary.com/dictionary)

When it came time to choose a cover photo for Outlander Fan’s facebook page, I settled on Eilean Donan Castle, located in Dornie, Scotland.  It has always spoken to me, represented quintessential Scotland, and it ended up working beautifully with the Outlander Fan logo.  Little did I know just how much so…

A few days ago, my friend Connie Barlow sent me a link to an informational video and turns out sometime between the 12th & 15th century ownership of Eilean Donan Castle passed to Clan MACKENZIE, who appointed Clan MacRae as constables! And in 1715 Jacobite MacKenzies succesfully besieged the castle garrisoned by Spanish troops (acting on behalf of the British government)! Wow, how cool is that! I squealed in astonishment & shared it on the fb page. THEN a couple of fellow Outlander fans (Victoria Thor & Grace Madden) commented that they thought Clan FRASER was associated as well & there was an inscription on the castle stating so! I told them I thought my head would explode if it were true, lol.

Well, I did a little research, and sure enough, this is what I found at  http://eileandonan.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/clan-loyalties-run-deep/  :

Above the front door to the castle, the stone carving written in Gaelic translates to: “Whilst there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside.”

OMG! My heart is just filled with a sense of serendipity, that unbeknownst to myself I chose an image to represent Outlander Fan that has ties to both Clan MacKenzie AND Clan Fraser! I already had a passion for Eilean Donan, and now this Outlander connection via Diana Gabaldon just amplifies it… Pardon me whilst I commence head explosion, lol!

10 Comments

  1. Jerry Tompkins said,

    August 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t think a sense of serendipity totally describes your experience! Wow!!!

  2. OutlanderFan said,

    August 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    How would you describe it Jerry?

  3. Duncan McRae said,

    October 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    i cant wait to see the clan castle

  4. November 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I’m trying not to be angry that the show and the books have left so much of the clan out of it. We are the McKenzies shirt of mail for God’s sake. We fought and bled and died at the battle of Sherriffmuir. During the jacobite uprising we fought against calvary and musketeers. I am hoping that someone does some mentioning of the wild and bloody Macraes, ye cannae ken awot acomes, the bloody Macraes come. Sgurr Uran!

    • January 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      I am a newly discovered descendant of the McRae clan and was about to rewatch the series to see if there are any characters or mention of the McRaes. I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

  5. February 7, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This castle is a magical place and you feel it the moment it comes into view. Isle of Skye is perhaps the most beautiful place I have ever been.

  6. Anonymous said,

    August 24, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Early in the morning on Sunday 10 May 1719 HMS Worcester, HMS Flamborough and HMS Enterprise anchored off Eilean Donan and sent a boat ashore under a flag of truce to negotiate. When the Spanish soldiers in the castle fired at the boat, it was recalled and all three ships opened fire on the castle for an hour or more. The next day the bombardment continued while a landing party was prepared. In the evening under the cover of an intense cannonade, a detachment went ashore in the ships’ boats and captured the castle against little resistance. According to Worcester’s log, in the castle were “an Irishman, a captain, a Spanish lieutenant, a serjeant, one Scottish rebel and 39 Spanish soldiers, 343 barrels of powder and 52 barrels of musquet shot.” The naval force spent the next two days and 27 barrels of gunpowder demolishing the castle.[4 Flamborough then took the Spanish prisoners to Edinburgh. The remaining Spanish troops were defeated on 10 June at the Battle of Glen Shiel

  7. Anonymous said,

    August 24, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    War came to Eilean Donan again during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1719. Many of the Highland clans, who were predominantly Catholic, had opposed the overthrown of James VII (II of England) in 1688. Furthermore they had become disillusioned with the Act of Union (1707) prompting many to support the 1715 rebellion. This was defeated but when Britain went to war with Spain in 1718, that country saw a chance to destabilise Britain by inciting another Jacobite Rebellion. In April 1719 a small Spanish force under George Keith, Earl Marishcal landed first on the Isle of Lewis and then at Loch Alsh making Eilean Donan Castle their headquarters. Support for the uprising was muted – the Indemnity Act of 1717 which had pardoned most, but not all, of those involved in the 1715 rebellion – made Highland chiefs reluctant to participate. But when Clan MacGregor, which had been excluded from the reconciliation process, joined others were prompted to follow including members of Clan MacKenzie. Eilean Donan became their headquarters and the Spanish ships that had brought Keith to Scotland offloaded significant quantities of ammunition and gunpowder. A small Spanish garrison was left at Eilean Donan whilst the army proceeded inshore in an attempt to incite more Clans to rally to their cause. Their absence was timely as on 10 May 1719 a Royal Navy detachment – HMS Enterprise, HMS Flamborough and HMS Worcester – attacked the castle. Launching a heavy bombardment the small garrison was compelled to surrender. The 1719 rebellion itself came to an end the following month after the Battle of Glenshiel.

  8. Anonymous said,

    August 24, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    The 1719 Jacobite Rebellion, Battle of Glenshiel was fought on 10 June 1719. The Scottish rebels who were Jacobites including MacKenzies were aided by a Spanish Regiment, took up a formidable defensive position guarding a narrow mountain pass but were nevertheless attacked, dislodged and defeated by the British government effectively ending the rebellion.

    The Jacobites had around 1,000 men in total. The bulk were from Clans Cameron, MacGregor, MacKenzie, MacKinnon and Murray. He also had around 200 Spanish troops . His sub-commanders included William Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth and Robert Roy MacGregor (Rob Roy) as well as George Keith, Earl Marischal.

    The British forces led by Major General Joseph Wightman had 850 infantry supported by 120 dragoons and a small contingent equipped with mortars.


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