Interior of Foulis Castle


 by Brenda B. Taylor

Following is a virtual tour of the interior of Foulis Castle located in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Mrs. Munro, mother of the clan chief, took us through the section that houses articles on display. She lives in the castle along with other members of the family and is a very pleasant lady. We enjoyed meeting her.

Sir Harry Munro (c.1720 – 12 June 1781) began building the present mansion after returning from the 1745 Jacobite Rising to find his ancient home destroyed by fire. He lost both his father, Colonel Sir Robert Munro, and uncle, Dr. Duncan Munro, at the Battle of Falkirk during the uprising.

Sir Harry rebuilt Foulis Castle to reflect his status as 7th Baronet, 25th Baron, 28th chief of Clan Munro, and member of parliament.

Colonel Sir Robert Munro 6th Baronet, 24th Baron, and 27th chief of Clan Munro (24 August 1684 – 17 January 1745). Sir Robert was a soldier-politician whose life followed an 18th century pattern. He served as a member of the Parliament of Great Britain and was killed at the Battle of Falkirk during the Jacobite Uprising of 1745.

 

The Great Room of Foulis Castle with family photographs on display. Mrs. Munro was a friend of the Queen Mother who posed for a photo with the Munro family.

 

Munro family collectibles are on display in the great room. The above box is inlaid with silver with a silver Munro eagle adorning the lid.

 

The walls of the great room and dining room are lined with portraits of the Munro family past and present.

 

The old furnace and a doll house were on display in the basement which has been turned into a museum. The ancient kitchen is located in the basement and is also a museum. Another post will be dedicated to the kitchen museum.

 

The bells were linked from the family’s rooms to the servant quarters in the basement and were used to summon the servants.

 

The original charter of the Munro lands is held in Edinburgh where ancient documents are stored under controlled conditions.

Traditionally the Munros came from Ireland and settled in Scotland in the 11th century under chief Donald Munro, son of O’Cathian or O’Kain, an Irish chief. Donald Munro was granted lands for services rendered to Malcolm II of Scotland in defeating the Danes (Vikings). From this Donald Munro the clan lands have since been known as Ferindonald (Fearan Domhnuill), meaning Donald’s lands.

Tradition claims Donald Munro’s grandson, Hugh Munro, was the first Munro recorded to be authentically designated Baron of Foulis. He died in 1126. A reliable scholar, Alexander Nisbet, stated that George Munro, 5th Baron of Foulis, received a charter from the Earl of Sutherland during the reign of Alexander II of Scotland, but this charter cannot be traced.

The story is told that the Munros held their land as vassals of the earls of Ross, and the payment was to present a snowball to the earl every midsummer’s day. Finding snow in summer would not be difficult since Ben Wyvis, the tallest peak on Munro lands, retains snow in its northern corries all year round.

Queen Elizabeth II is a descendent of these earls of Ross and could still claim the snowball if she wished.

 

The photo shows the Highlands where Ben Wyvis is located, but the peak is hidden behind clouds that cover the Scottish Highlands skies on many days.

The next post will explore the kitchen museum of Foulis Castle.

 


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