Achnacarry, Scotland

Achnacarry, Scotland

Achnacarry (Scottish Gaelic:Achadh na Cairidh) is a small hamlet, private estate, and a castle in the Lochaber region of Highland, Scotland, about 15 miles north of the town of Fort William near the village of Spean Bridge. The present castle is a Scottish Baronial style home dating from 1802, although the Chiefs of the Cameron Clan have maintained homes at Achnacarry since 1665. The castle itself is not open to the public, although the Clan Cameron Museum, located on the grounds, welcomes visitors.

The name Achnacarry is derived from Scottish Gaelic field (achadh) of the (na) fish-trap/weir (caraidh). The Achnacarry lands lie on an isthmus between Loch Lochy to the east, and Loch Arkaig to the west.

"As you approach Achnacarry, which lies rather low, but is surrounded by very fine trees, the luxuriance of the tangled woods, surmounted by rugged hills, becomes finer and finer till you come to Loch Arkaig, a little over half a mile from the house. This is a very lovely loch, reminding one of Loch Katrine, especially where there is a little pier, from which we embarked on board a very small but nice screw steamer which belongs to Cameron of Lochiel."--Royal Visit to Achnacarry, from the Journal of Queen Victoria, Friday, September 12, 1873.

Achnacarry is the ancestral home of Lochiel , the Chief of Clan Cameron. In addition to the private family lands, the Clan Cameron Museum is located at Achnacarry about a quarter-mile from the castle. In August 2001, Achnacarry served as the site of the International Gathering of Clan Cameron, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Colonel Sir Donald Hamish Cameron of Lochiel, K.T., XXVI Chief of Clan Cameron. It will also host the 2009 (summer) International Gatheringof Clan Cameron.

Commando Castle

Built on the ruins of Achnacarry Castle, the current building gained fame as the Commando Training Depot for the Allied Forces from 1942 to 1945. British Commandos, United States Army Rangers and commandos from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Belgium trained there. As live ammunition was used during training, there were some casualties whilst training at Achnacarry. The castle also suffered some damage due to fire.

Several military associations (e.g. ) still sponsor a Commando March either annually or from time to time. Generally it is a timed seven mile march, in full battle gear, backpack and combat boots, that starts at Spean Bridge and ends at Achnacarry.

Achnacarry Agreement

In 1928 Achnacarry served as the meeting place for global petroleum producers in an effort to set production quotas. A document known as the Achnacarry Agreement or "As-Is" Agreement was produced from this meeting.

Home of Lochiel

Since 2004, Achnacarry is the present-day home of Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel, XXVII Chief of Clan Cameron.


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