Behind the walls…….   6 comments

Eilean Donan holds many secrets, some of which are well-known by the public, some of which are not. One of my most favourites is a tiny little room hidden away right in the middle of the walls behind the Banqueting Hall. Unfortunately it is not yet open to the public beacause of its very tight access.  We know of it as “The Lairds Withdrawing Room.”

This is a tiny little space consisting of two wooden seats beside a beautiful little carved fireplace set in a windowed alcove, overlooking Loch Long and Loch Alsh. This room was used by Lt Col John MacRae Gilstrap, primarily to sit and smoke his pipe, away from guests he and his wife might be entertaining in the formal Banqueting Hall. It is without doubt one of  the most peaceful and  tranquil spaces in the entire castle, a hidden gem. The fireplace is exquisitely carved, with the initials of John & Isabella sitting romantically just above the hearth, and dated 1912.

Every time I enter, I can almost sense John’s presence, and can directly relate to why he was so fond of this little haven-like refuge. I can imagine him sitting there with a little peat fire in the grate, puffing silently away on his pipe as he admired the views of the lochs beyond the leaded windows.

The room itself is in need of some restoration work, and will always have to be carefully managed in terms of the number of people that can access it at any one time because of its size, but one day we hope to have it open. In the meantime, here’s a wee sneak preview of one of my favourite spots.

The Lairds With-drawing Room

John & Ella forever.......

Peace & Quiet


Posted July 13, 2010 by eileandonan in Historical

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6 responses to “Behind the walls…….

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  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing it.


    William Robert (Bill) MacKenzie.
  3. just the place to go for a crafty fag………….

  4. This a truly great post and may be one that can be followed up to see what goes on

    A chum mailed this link the other day and I’m eagerly anticipating your next blog post. Keep on on the very good work.

  5. I recall seeing this area of the castle……& it was off limits??? Or is there another area that looks similar to this one??

  6. i always love to watch forbidden places, so thank you for sharing

    Jacqueline from Holland

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