Eilean Donan castle

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The island was inhabited as early as the sixth century by the Picts, who are believed to have built a vitrified fort on the current castle's location. In the thirteenth century, a large curtain-wall castle (wall of enceinte) was constructed. At this time the area was at the boundary of the Norse-Celtic Lordship of the Isles and the Earldom of Ross: Eilean Donan provided a strong defensive position against Norse expeditions. By the late thirteenth century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail (later the Earls of Seaforth), who were vassals of the Earls of Ross. A tower house or keep was built at the north-east corner in the fourteenth century, and in the fifteenth century a smaller defensive enclosure. Having lost control in the fourteenth century, the Mackenzies obtained a charter of Eilean Donan in 1509, and in 1511 the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the castle.
In 1539 Iain Dubh Matheson, chief of the Clan Matheson, died whilst defending the castle against the Clan Macdonald of Sleat on behalf of Clan Macrae and Clan Mackenzie.
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