Eilean Donan Castle

Author’s Note for Highland Passage

Author’s Note to Highland Passage. If your copy does not have this, you should be able to download an updated edition from Amazon, or you can just read it here:

Author’s Note

The Stone Chambers of Putnam County, NY: I have often driven by these stone chambers and wondered about them. While there is information available, much of it is conflicting. One theory is that they were built by ancient Celts. From that theory, my imagination took flight and Highland Passage was born.

The Ghost of Balnagown Castle makes a brief appearance in Highland Passage. Known as Black Andrew, he was Andrew Munro, the 16th century laird of the castle. He is said to have abused his power as laird by murdering men and raping women. A day came when the villagers had had enough. They stormed the castle and hanged him by the neck from the highest window. To this day, his ghost is said to wander the castle and harass female visitors.

The 1719 Bombardment of Eilean Donan Castle: Highland Passage takes place during this historic event in which British troops attacked the Jacobite castle. Visitors to Eilean Donan Castle can see replicas of the powder kegs that were used to blow up Eilean Donan Castle in 1719. It was not until 1911 that Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the castle and began a twenty-year restoration to the breathtakingly beautiful castle we see today.

I take my fact-checking seriously.


Eilean Donan Castle Yesterday, 7/15/14
Eilean Donan Castle Yesterday, 7/15/14

The gentleman at the Eilean Donan Castle ticket booth was so nice when I asked about the tidal times and depth of the water. He assured me that in Highland Passage, Ciarán and Mac would indeed have needed a boat to get across to the castle even at low tide. He checked a schedule inside the ticket booth for the exact time when the tide is the lowest, and then showed me how high the water gets at high tide.