No one is exactly sure of when Ackergill Tower was built: in the mid 14th century only the "lands of Ackergill" were mentioned as among the properties of Sir Reginald de Cheyne who owned nearly half of Caithness. The style of architecture leads us to believe that the tower was built circa 1475.


The "Beauty of Braemore", Helen Gunn, was abducted on her wedding night and kept prisoner in the Tower by Dugald Keith. Rather than succumb to his advances, she leapt from the battlements. The stone on which she was believed to have fallen, and which bears her outline, can be seen nearby.

1890 - 1986

More recently the estate had declined from over 100,000 acres to less than 4,000, and the income generated from small farms rented to tenant farmers did little to support the cost of an ageing and demanding building. By this time the tower was considered beyond salvation and was put up for sale.


It was bought by John and Arlette Banister; only the sixth owner in the Tower's long and chequered history, and they embarked on a two year programme of restoration, which saw the castle meticulously restored to its former glory when it re-opened its doors in 1988.


Clarenco were fortunate enough to add Ackergill Tower to their portfolio in 2009 and it continues to thrive as the flagship venue in the portfolio and as the great house that it truly is.


The renovation which included the Beach House, Stables and bedrooms in the tower, completed in late 2012, has encapsulated much of the loved ornaments and history into a historic museum. This renovation brought the tower up to a 5-star standard.

fascinating history

of this historical tower