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C.Garner and P.Wright

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Old Wick Keep

July 15, 1999
Wick, Caithness
Map Ref: ND 369 488

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[Highland Region]
Old Wick: the long way in

Castle of Old Wick is one of the oldest keeps in Scotland. It dates from the 12th century when the Norsemen ruled from the Orkneys.

In the 14th century it was held by the Cheynes, then passed by marriage to the Oliphants. Lord Sinclair acquirred the castle through an eight day siege in which it was surrendered due to lack of food and water. It was then passed to Lord Glenorchy along with tithe title, Earl of Caithness. Finally the castle was sold to the Dunbars of Hempriggs.

Old Wick: The approach
Old Wick: SE corner

Old Wick was probably in ruins by 1679 when it was passed to Lord Glenorchy. It is a simple square design and very sparse. There are remains of several ranges along the promontory.

Not much remains, but it is assumed to be a strictly military outpost as it doesn't have any evident comforts. Any window structures are very small and it would have been very dark inside.

Old Wick: South wall