Castle Lodge
Castle Lodge
Castle Lodge was built beside the gatehouse leading to Thurso Castle in 1875. A fanciful example of Gothic Revival romanticism, the Lodge is an ornate building with a square block, tower and turrets like a fantasy medieval castle.
There was a castle in Thurso during the time when this area of northern Scotland was ruled by the Norse. The original castle was destroyed in the 12th century, but another fortification was built in the early 17th century by the Sinclair family.

Around 1640 the castle was enlarged by George, Earl of Caithness. Then in 1872 the earlier castle was swept away by Sir John Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Ulster, and replaced with a Gothic Revival mansion. The long drive to the mansion was fronted by a romantic, castellated gatehouse and tower, called Castle Lodge.

The Lodge has more in common with a folly than with an actual residence. It looks like something out of a Disney fairy tale, with turrets and battlements. It also, unfortunately, looks like it has suffered from the passage of time, but the combination of the Lodge and Gothic gatehouse make an eye-catching vision as you enter Thurso from the coastal road to Mey.

There is a place to pull off the road and investigate the gatehouse and Lodge exterior, but when we visited the gates were locked and it did not appear as if visitors to the Lodge were welcome. Thankfully you can easily see through the gates and appreciate this excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture.