60766: Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, Harris

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle was built in 1867 in Scottish baronial style by the 7th Earl of Dunmore. It passed through various hands since then and is now in private ownership following a joint bid with the local community to buy the North Harris Estate.

The Isle of Harris was bought for £60,000 in 1834 by the 5th Earl of Dunmore, George Murray, the reason for the sale being the bankruptcy of the proprietor, Alexander Norman Macleod. Charles Adolphus Murray, 7th Earl of Dunmore, was the son of the 5th Earl’s son Alexander and his wife Catherine. He built Amhuinnsuidhe Castle not long after his return from serving with the Confederate forces in the American Civil War. Known as Fincastle or Fin-castle, it was built using hewn freestone carried from the South and granite from the Isle of Bernera. 

In 1868 the castle was sold to the banker Sir Edward Scott, and later inherited by his son Sir Samuel, who retained the tenancy of the North Harris Estate when it was purchased by Lord Leverhulme for £20,000 in 1919. Six years later, on the death of Lord Leverhulme, Sir Samuel purchased the estate for a much lower price. Since then, the castle and estate have changed hands several times at gradually increasing prices, remaining in private ownership until 2003. In that year, following a joint bid, the estate passed into community ownership while the castle and fishing rights were purchased by Ian Scarr-Hall.

James Barrie wrote his play Mary Rose while staying at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle in 1920.

In July 1934, Gerhard Zucker attempted to launch a rocket from Amhuinnsuidhe Castle; rather than than delivering its cargo of post to Scarp, the rocket exploded.

Record Location

Record Type:
Building or Public Amenity
Date Built:
Type Of Building Public Amenity:
Hotel; Castle
Record Maintained by: