Am Bratach No. 319
May 2018

Cabinet Secretary expected to open restored Castle Varrich

An official opening ceremony marking the completion of restoration work at Castle Varrich, which overlooks the Kyle of Tongue, will be held on May 11. Anders Holch Povlsen’s Wildland estate, which owns the land on which the castle stands, has invited Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, to officiate at the ceremony.

The restoration, which cost a total of £360,000, was part-funded by Wildland Ltd, with an additional contribution from Historic Environment Scotland. A new viewing platform has been installed as part of the renovation

Tim Kirkwood, chief executive officer of Wildland Ltd said: “The preservation of Castle Varrich originally came about because we were keen to see a much-loved local landmark protected and brought back into use for the entire local community as well as visitors to the area.”

The opening ceremony will begin at 10.15am on May 11, although those wishing to attend are advised to arrive by 10.00am. The event, which is scheduled to last for only thirty minutes, will incorporate speeches and a contribution from the pupils of Tongue Primary School.

Castle Varrich, or Caisteal Bharraich in the original Gaelic, is the remains of a tower house, the precise origins of which are unknown. It has been suggested
that it may be a sixteenth-century reconstruction of an earlier tower. It is also said to have once belonged to the Bishop of Caithness, who stayed there on his way from Scrabster Castle to his property at Balnakeil. 

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