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Discover the story of Monkstadt 1745, one of Skye’s most historic homes and the former seat of the Clan MacDonald.

Monkstadt Then…

In 1732, Monkstadt House became the seat of the Clan Donald, when Alexander MacDonald, the Lord of the Isles, fled his “haunted’ home at Duntulm Castle. Monkstadt was renovated using original stone from the castle and it was said to be the first slate roofed house on the Isle of Skye.

Sir Alexander lived in Monkstadt with his wife, Lady Margaret MacDonald and family. They were popular amongst the tenants of the MacDonald estate. Lady Margaret was said to have been extremely beautiful and accomplished and took great interest in the welfare of her tenants. Sir Alexander was known to be exceedingly hospitable and made Skye his constant residence.

Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald…

In 1746, following defeat at The Battle of Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie was on the run from the Government with a price of £30,000 on his head. He had managed to escape to the West Coast of Scotland and on to Uist where he was introduced to Flora MacDonald. Between them a plan was hatched, and it was decided that Flora and the Prince should travel by boat over the sea to Skye. They set sail on the evening of the 28th of June 1746 and successfully landed on the shore below Monkstadt House at a spot named Rudha Phrionnsa (Prince’s Point). In order to disguise the Prince he was dressed as an Irish spinning maid named Betty Burke.

Flora was well acquainted with Sir Alexander and his wife Lady Margaret and knew that at heart Lady Margaret was a Jacobite sympathiser. She left the Prince on the shore and visited Monkstadt where she was quickly ushered into the dining room to be greeted by a Lieutenant Alexander MacLeod, who was in charge of the troops in the North of Skye. Flora was closely questioned by Lt MacLeod on the movements of the Prince but managed to cleverly ward off any suspicion in her involvement in his escape.

Lady Margaret was deeply concerned for the safety of the Prince and equipped Flora with food and refreshments for them continue on safely to Kingsburgh House.

Monkstadt Now…

Monkstadt House was vacated by the Clan Donald in 1798, following the restoration of Armadale Castle in Sleat in the south of Skye.

In the years that followed various tacksmen, farmers and land workers lived in Monkstadt and the surrounding land, but the house gradually fell into disrepair. In the early 1980’s the MacQueen family purchased Monkstadt and Ian MacQueen began renovations to its exterior. James MacQueen took over the property in 2018 and it has now been fully restored to its former beauty.

Find out more about the fascinating stories linked to Monkstadt 1745 for yourself and book your stay in one of our five luxury guest rooms and suites.

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