Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Blackness Castle plays a grisly role in the 120 million dollar movie blockbuster The Outlaw King, soon to launch as opening movie of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Take a tour of Blackness Castle in our film locations tour . Phone 07305-294773 for more details or contact us online . Starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce the lavish Netflix production was filmed at locations across Scotland last year, also including Linlithgow Palace. Blackness Castle. But the Blackness scene won’t be forgotten in a hurry – it features an actress playing historical character Isabella MacDuff being suspended from the battlements in an iron cage.

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Filming for the epic took place over two weeks late last year, and (off camera), a mobile crane was used to support the notorious cage – where the actress reportedly endured several takes in freezing cold.

The movie is on general release from November 9, and its initial trailer clip, launched this week, registered 26 million views in the first 24 hours. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G1BME8FKw Filmed entirely on location in Scotland, the movie was shot in key locations around the country, including Berwick.

blackness castle outlander
Blackness Castle stars in The Outlaw King

Many or most of the extras involved are Scottish – the production company was besieged by Scots aiming to play the part of foot soldiers in King Robert’s army when it advertised for extras last year. Iconic actor James Cosmo, (70), who appears in the film reportedly says it could be Scotland’s greatest ever movie, likely to replicate for key Scottish historic sites the phenomenal surge of visitors to Stirling in the wake of the 1995 release of Braveheart (in which he also starred). That will mean new droves of tourists heading for Blackness, already benefiting from its appearance in Outlander, and to many other locations across the central belt associated with the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence. Rounding off a golden year for major Scottish-based history epics a new movie about Mary Queen of Scots also launches in November. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has the talent and the opportunity to grow its TV sector and the job of Screen Scotland is to make sure we seize the moment.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. “Film and TV productions not only showcase the unique mix of stunning landscapes, rich heritage and fascinating stories Scotland offers, but can inspire set-jetting fans to visit, with research showing that one in five visitors come here after seeing Scotland on the big and small screen.”

 

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Eilean Donan Castle pictures at night screensaver

Eilean Donan Castle pictures at night 31456
Eilean Donan Castle at night , HDR photo

Eilean Donan Castle is one of my favourite castles in Scotland , mainly because of the stunning location and ample photo opportunities .  My picture of the castle at night is an HDR photo which is now available as a screensaver. The castle can be photographed from 3 sides . Eilean Donan means Island of Donan ( a religious figure from the 12 th century ). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719 by 3 English frigates attacking the Spanish garrison .

Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Above the entrance to the castle there is a Gaelic inscription which translates as : As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a panel with the names of the constables ( guardians ) of the castle carved on it.
Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs. Although there was a number of disputes, the MacKenzies held Eilean Donan right up until until the 16th century. The MacRaes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511 with a lot of control over the surrounding area. A feud between the MacKenzies and the McLeods of Dunvegan, over the disputed claims of Donald Gorm MacDonald to the title of Lord of the Isles, came to a head when he attacked the Castle with 50 galleys. He was shot and killed by Duncan MacRae with a single arrow. The Castle was garrisoned by Government troops but later retaken by the Jacobites before the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

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