Clan Urquhart is an ancient Celtic family that once held power over lands in the northeast of Scotland. Their name comes from Glen Urquhart and the magnificent Urquhart Castle located on Loch Ness. According to Clan history, the name comes from a Gaelic word air meaning “by” and the Old Welsh word cardden, meaning “thicket or wood,” a similar form of which was recorded in the life of St. Columba. Legend has it that Conachar Mor, scion of Ulster’s royal house, fought for Malcolm III and was rewarded with ownership of Urquhart Castle, where he killed a wild boar that had defeated all other hunters before him.
The first Chief of the clan, William de Urchard, defended Moote at Cromarty against English crown supporters during the time of William Wallace and Robert Bruce. His descendants continued to hold positions of power, with Adam de Urchard assuming the titles of Baron and Sheriff in 1358. The family line continued through the centuries, with Thomas Urquhart’s nephew, Thomas, becoming a renowned scholar and writer, and his son, Adam, becoming sheriff of Wigton.
Over the years, members of the clan have been involved in battles, pirate activities, and even served as agents for Scottish affairs. Today, the clan chief resides in the US and has established the rightful chief status, and their places to visit include Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, with its stunning beauty and incredible arch joining wings supporting corbelled parapet, and the rolling Ocil hills, the site of a famous battle fought by Captain John, who was also known as Pirate. Visitors can stay overnight, get married, or explore the glorious carvings, drawing room, and heraldry artifacts.
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