Braal Castle

(Brawl Castle)

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Braal or Brawl, an ancient castle in Halkirk parish, Caithness, on the river Thurso, 6½ miles S by E of Thurso town. It probably was a residence of Harold, Earl of Caithness (d. 1206), and of the Sinclairs; but tradition falsely makes it a palace of the Bishops of Caithness and Sutherland. It comprises two distinct buildings, belonging to different eras of architecture. The most ancient one is a tower 39 feet long, 36 wide, and still 35 high, with walls of 9 feet thickness, and a fosse on the NW side, 6 feet in depth and about 20 in width. The other building is now entirely ruinous; seems to have been more spacious and elegant; is now represented by only a ground floor, 100 feet long by 50 wide, with a front wall from 12 to 15 feet high; and probably never was carried above the first story. An extensive garden adjoins the castle, is by far the most ancient in the county, and belongs to the family of Ulbster.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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