Friday, November 03, 2006

Skye Island, Scotland: Dunnyveg Castle

This is one of the 2 castles in Scotland that Jeremy and I "broke into" - ie jumped over a fence. This castle ruin belonged to a wicked man named Donald Gorm. It was quite common practise in the Highlands in that era for a man to take a woman on contract for a year. If they got on well a formal marriage contract was proceeded with, but if not, the year's contract was duly terminated.

So Gorm took for himself a beautiful woman whom he was very proud to have on his arm. One day, the woman had the terrible misfortune of losing an eye. Gorm found her much less attractive with only 1 eye and so when the year was out he sent her home mounted on a one-eyed horse, led by a one-eyed man and followed by a one-eyed dog. How he found so many one-eyed creatures remains a mystery. One can't help wonder if he made them so?

Gorm was not terrribly popular. Even his own family thought him a bit of a shit. In fact, his own newphew, Hugh, plotted to kill him. Hugh was crafty (albeit stupid) and hired a hit man to do the job for him. The murder was to take place at a party so Hugh sent out an invite to both the hit man and Gorm. However, he unknowingly mixed up the invitations. Gorm had Hugh arrested and thrown into a dark dugeon in his castle. He was fed salty meat until he died. Aparently when his body was removed from the dugeon, his fingers had been gnawed down to the bone. It's believed this was an attempt to create more saliva to aid his thirst...

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