Avoch Castle

Avoch Castle (otherwise known as Ormond Castle) was situated on Ormond Hill overlooking Avoch. This castle was the seat of the Anglo-Norman ‘de Moravias’ (de Moray) family. It may originally have been one of the two royal castles erected on the Black Isle by William the Lion in 1179.

During the Scottish Wars of Independence Andrew de Moray and William Wallace became commanders of the army of the Kingdom of Scotland. In 1297, de Moray raised his standard at Ormonde Castle to rally his forces for battle.

He travelled south with his loyal supporters and met up with Wallace. Together they defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Sadly, Andrew de Moray died from battle wounds shortly after the battle. He is commemorated by a cairn and plaque at the castle site. After his death, the castle passed on to the Earls of Ross, before being forfeited to the Crown in 1455. There is no evidence that the castle was occupied after it became crown property. It is said that in the mid-17th century, most of the masonry was removed to provide stone for Cromwell’s new fort at Inverness.

The castle site (above) has recently been cleared and it is possible to make out the turf-covered foundations. The castle appears to have been made of coarse red sandstone and lime and consists of three courts aligned northeast and southwest. It appears to have been a structure of great strength.