May 29, 2023

Reflections on Loch Buie and Moy Castle

You walk through a boggy field dotted with cattle and come upon a wood where a large standing stone looms before you.  Continuing on you join a herd of sheep in and among the slabs of the  Lochbuie Stone Circle which is composed of mostly granite stones positioned with their flatter faces toward the inside of the circle.   This is the only stone circle on Mull and stands in a breathtaking setting on the grounds of Lochbuie House. The circle dates to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.

Not far from the stone circle balanced on a rocky craig along Loch Buie lies Moy Castle, an imposing old ruinous tower long the property of the MacLaines, vassals to the Lords of the Isles.  The setting, on the south coast of the Hebridean Island of Mull, is especially scenic in the spring when the gorse is in full bloom.  The castle presents a romantic feast for the eyes as it rises from the rocky hill and reaches for the heavens.  The Maclaines acquired the land from the MacDonald Lords of the Isles around 1360. 

As the story goes, in 1538 the chief, Iain the Toothless, battled with his son Ewen of the Little Head over the son’s marriage settlement. Ewen was decapitated in the battle and it is said his horse rode off for two miles with the headless body. His ghost, the headless horseman, haunts Glen Mor where he can be seen riding a dun colored horse when one of the Maclaines is about to die.

The castle was sold in the 20th century and today is owned by the Corbetts.