Sinclair Girnigoe Castle (Scotland)
Highland See list of castles in Scozia
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe is a complex of stone structures ruin built and modified over a period of 200 years by Sinclair accounts of Caithness, historically one of the most powerful families in the north of Scotland. Girnigoe castle was built around 1470 and additions were added through the early 17th century, when the castle was renamed Sinclair. Originally thought to be two independent fortresses, recent excavations and research indicates that the complex was actually a castle with later additions, and so is now known as Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. The castle was a cultural, artistic, and social development of this region of Scotland until the end of the 17th century, and was strategically important as it was located along the cliffs overlooking the North Sea. During the civil war, Cromwell's troops occupied the complex. It 'was then damaged by cannon fire during a dispute over the succession, and has been uninhabited since 1690. The complex passed out of the Sinclair family, but was purchased in 1950 and was donated to a trust set up for its preservation in 1999.
Ruins of the complex elements that survive are the massive gate tower built in the 14th century, a large hall and a defensive wall built in the 15th century, and a tower house designed as the centerpiece of a major restructuring 16th century, which transformed the castle in a Renaissance fortress of inspiration.
A lack of maintenance combined with exposure to harsh coastal elements more than 300 years, as well as recent acts of vandalism, have left the complex homeless facilities in various states of disrepair. Most of the section originally called Castle Sinclair was completely ruined; only a fireplace, a bit 'of outer wall, and a passage of access remain and needed repair to remain standing. The ruins of the tower house, a former Castle Girnigoe, were in danger of collapsing into the sea. In addition, the cliffs that support the castles were actively failing, and the keystones in support of the walls on the precipice were unstable, further threatening the survival of structures.