Europe 2008 Visual Diary page 29
Achnacarry, home of Donald Cameron of Lochiel, 27th Chief of Clan Cameron, Scotland

James and I meeting our very gracious chief...and 8th cousin!

Achnacarry, the ancestral home to the modern (post 1655) Chiefs of Clan Cameron is located on the isthmus between Loch Lochy and Loch Arkaig. The name "Achnacarry" is from the Gaelic named "field (achadh) of the (na) fish-trap/weir (caraidh)". In 1802 Achnacarry, which had spent the last fifty or so years in ruin, was rebuilt under Donald Cameron, 22nd Chief of Clan Cameron as a "Scottish Baronial" style home (it is also commonly referred to as a castle.)

Remains of original 'house' at Achnacarry built by Sir Ewen "Dubh" Cameron, 17th Chief of Clan Cameron somewhere around 1655. With the Jacobite army's defeat at the Battle of Culloden the clans retreated into the Highlands, with Donald Cameron ("The Gentle Lochiel") 19th Chief of Clan Cameron taking the lead in re-grouping them. After this last attempt at resistance failed, he and his men took to the mountains. On May 28th, 1746, Donald watched as 320 men of Bligh's Regiment, under the command of Lt. Colonel Edward Cornwallis and a "body" of Munros, under the command of Munro of Culcairn, burnt Achnacarry to the ground. Many valued relics and personal possessions were relocated prior, but the great fir-planked "old" Achnacarry was left in ashes.

Views of Achnacarry estate, including Loch Arkaig

This bridge on the estate is next to the Eas Chia-aig waterfalls used in the movie Rob Roy. In the movie Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) jumps over the bridge into waterfalls. The scenes in the film showing Rob Roy going down the falls were filmed on the waterfalls behind the bridge.

Same bridge, different angle!

Caig Falls / Cia-aig Falls/ Eas Chia-aig - a double waterfall at the western end of the Dark Mile, where the River Caig comes dashing down from the high hills north of Achnacarry into a deep pool called the "Witch's Cauldron," which flows into Caig Burn. Legend has it that in the distant past Cameron clansmen chased a witch who plagued their cattle, in the form of a cat, over the falls here to her death.

"The Dark Mile" is in a picturesque little valley stretching from Loch Lochy to Loch Arkaig. On the hillside to the north lies a cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie took refuge when he was a fugitive after the Battle of Culloden. This is the setting for the third novel, titled The Dark Mile (1929,) of D. K. Broster's Jacobite Trilogy.