This next castle is one of the many fabulous Scottish castles and the story that goes with it is even better!
Ackergill Tower was built by Clan Keith around the late 1400s. Sometime after the tower was built, the Chieftain of Clan Keith, Dugald Keith kidnapped Helen Gunn on the eve of her wedding. He then proceeded to make “unseemly advances” towards her. Helen, rather than be disgraced by Dugald, threw herself from the tower walls to her death on the rocks below. Some people claim they can still see her ghost on the walls today in a red ball gown.
This, understandably, was the start of some major feuding between the two clans. They were constantly meeting in skirmishes where they would bang at each other with their swords with neither clan being able to claim the “upper hand” in the feud. In an effort to settle the matter once and for all, both clans agreed that they would meet up at the chapel of St. Tears with 12 horses per clan and “duke it out.”
The Gunn clan showed up a little early and since the Keith’s had yet to make an appearance, they decided their time would be well spent in the chapel praying. While they were praying, the Keith’s showed up with their twelve horses but with two men on each horse! Those cheaters!!! They didn’t even wait for the Gunn’s to finish praying but just went after them.
As far as the Keith’s were concerned, they were still following the “12 horse” rule and hadn’t done anything wrong. But as you know, cheaters never win and both sides took heavy losses, with the Keith’s actually losing a larger percentage of their men. So even after all this death and trouble, there still wasn’t a clear “winner,” and the clans still didn’t have a resolution to their problems.
Finally, in 1978, although they were no longer massacring each other by this point, the descendants of the two clans decided to make the peace official and sign a treaty of friendship, isn’t that nice?
Nowadays the tower has undergone some pretty extensive restoration and “redecorating” and is now a posh, luxury venue for weddings and the like.