New Eilean Donan Castle Tin

We are excited to reveal our newest collectible tin featuring an image of the beautiful and historic Eilean Donan Castle!

Eilean Donan, literally meaning the ‘island of Donan’, is located in the western Highlands of Scotland where three lochs (lakes) meet.  The island is named after Bishop Donnan, a Celtic saint who came to Scotland around 580 AD and is rumored to have started a church there during the late 7th century.

The first fortified structure was built on the island in the early thirteenth century as a defensive measure against the Vikings who raided, settled and controlled much of the North of Scotland between 800 and 1266. Eilean Donan offered the perfect defensive position.

Later, a stronghold was built on the island for the powerful Mackenzie clan with the island and castle being regular sites of gruesome clan feuds between the Mackenzies and their enemies. By the 17th century, generations of Mackenzies and their allies, the Macrae clan, made the castle their home.

Eilean Donan played a role in the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th centuries, which ultimately culminated in the castle’s destruction.  In 1719, the castle was garrisoned by Spanish soldiers who were supporting the Jacobites. Following their surrender, according to some reports, the government troops discovered the gunpowder which was then used to blow up what had remained from the bombardment. Alternative documents suggest the Jacobites themselves destroyed the castle to prevent it from becoming a Government power-base.

For the best part of 200 years, Eilean Donan lay neglected and abandoned until Lt. Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911 and managed the reconstruction of Eilean Donan, restoring her to her former glory. The castle was formally completed in July of 1932 along with a footbridge connecting the island to the mainland. The Macrae family are still constables of the castle.  Above the entrance door is a Gaelic inscription which in translation reads: “As long as there is a Macrae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside“, referring to a bond of kinship between the two clans.

Today, the castle, a popular tourist site, is available for weddings, private celebrations and conferences and regularly appears in movies. The exterior of Fotheringay Castle from Elizabeth – The Golden Age (2007), in which Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned, is Eilean Donan Castle.  In the movie Made of Honor (2008), Eilean Donan can be seen as the home of the groom's family.  The striking outline of Eilean Donan might also be familiar from the Bond movie The World is Not Enough (1999) as the Scottish headquarters of MI6.

With all the history of the Eilean Donan Castle, you will definitely want to add this tin to your collection.