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Conchra Charitable Trust

Eilean Donan Castle is owned by the Conchra Charitable Trust. The principal activity of the Trust is the restoration and preservation of the Castle and to allow public access to this unique visitor attraction. The Trust's income is derived from entrance charges and associated visitor proceeds and from donations to the charity.

The MacRae-Gilstraps

The Trust was established in 1983 and the Trustees have personal and family connections with the Castle and the area. Historically the MacRaes are hereditary constables of Eilean Donan Castle. Mrs Marigold MacRae is president of the Clan MacRae and her daughter Baroness Miranda Van Lynden is head of the MacRaes of Conchra. Major Alistair Stewart's grandfather was Lt. Col. MacRae-Gilstrap who acquired and rebuilt the Castle between 1912 and 1932.

Eilean Donan undoubtedly now represents the essence of a Scottish Castle and its fame as a romantic castle image and tourism promotion over decades has confirmed and underpinned this image. Over recent years the Trust has implemented a programme of substantial improvements and developments, which it is hoped enable visitors to gain a richer experience in a beautiful setting of outstanding importance to the local area and the national heritage.

The 1996 Season witnessed the opening of six furnished bedrooms on the third floor of the Castle, which were renovated and decorated. In 1997 public access and road safety were improved by the redesigning of the A87 trunk road to incorporate a three lane access junction at the entrance to the Castle. The existing car park at the Castle was redesigned and extended at the same time as the Visitor Centre, housing a shop and coffee shop, was erected. This was completed in April 1998.


Also opened in early 1998 were the Introductory Exhibition and the Recreated 1930's kitchen, both interpretative and presentation displays of outstanding quality.


Simultaneously repairs and improvements to the Castle buildings have been undertaken and these are ongoing, with the current work involving renewing the roof and repointing the walls of the South West wing. April 2000 marked the opening of the boarded walkway around the area to the bastion and well.

It is intended that improvements to the fabric of the Castle will continue, aimed at preserving and enhancing the building in a sound and historically accurate form. In time further areas of the Castle will be restored and hopefully opened to the public, thereby extending the appeal to visitors and enabling those visitors that come to see the world-famous 'shortbread-tin' image to also gain a better appreciation of the heritage of this unique cultural resource.

Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. John MacRae-Gilstrap
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Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, by Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland, IV40 8DX
Telephone 01599 555202 Fax 01599 555262

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© 2008
Visit Icons of Scotland 2007