Beaufort Castle

I am currently residing in a pleasant one-storey cottage in the grounds of Beaufort Castle in Inverness-shire. The latter is built in typical Scots Baronial style with pointed turrets and crow-stepped gables, and is mostly nineteenth-century owing to the site’s violent past. The site of Downie or Dounie Castle sits close by, with a surviving stretch of curtain wall standing in the current Castle’s garden. This was assaulted by Oliver Cromwell's soldiery in the 1650s and later by the Duke of Cumberland when the Lovat Lord, whose home it was, switched allegiance from the Hanoverians to the Stuarts in the Jacobite wars.

It would seem that the Duke was more thorough in his attack than the Protector, but both would have led violent acts of destruction. Today, the place is characterised by bird song, gigantic fir trees and vivid azaleas, a Scottish arcadia if ever there was one. I have often noted the irony of many British battlefield sites being so very tranquil, the very opposite of that which puts them on the map. Perhaps it is because of yesterday’s battles that today can enjoy its peace. The assault upon the Lord Jesus at Calvary allowed peace between mankind and God which all Christians enjoy. The assault upon my sinful nature creates a holier, godlier me. The assaults upon my pride by God’s providence and the Holy Spirit keep me looking to Him.

Grand Beaufort Castle stands peacefully towering among the firs only because its predecessors fell.