Other Hall Castles
The Ghost of Rait Castle
What You Can Do



Rait enjoys superb views  over the Moray Firth



The following account has been put together primarily from the 'History of Nairnshire' by George Bain.


The Mackintoshes.


The earliest possessors of Raite were the Mackintoshes. Shaw Mackintosh, the fourth chief of the clan, obtained a grant of Rothiemurcus , Meikle Geddes and the Raite some time before 1265. He is said to have married Helen, the daughter of the second recorded Thane of Cawdor. His son Ferquhard succeeded him, and dying in 1274, left an only child, Angus, during whose minority, the Cummings took possession of Raite and other Mackintosh lands. As Norman knights, they dropped their surname and appear in the records of the period as 'De Rathe' or de Rate'.


Wars of Independence and the de Raites.


This was the time of the untimely death of Margaret 'the Maid of Norway'. It is only speculation but it seems likely that these Cummings were related to the John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, one of several claimants to the Scottish crown, and perhaps with a view to enhancing their kinsman's claim the de Raites became fervent supporters of King Edward I of England who had appointed himself as 'Overlord of the Realm of Scotland'. Gervaise de Raite was appointed knight constable of the royal castle at Nairn, and in 1292 when Edward summoned a Scottish Parliament at Berwick, both Gervaise and his son Andrew attended and swore fealty, appearing on what has become known derisorily as the 'Ragman Roll'.


Following William Wallace's call to arms in 1296, Henry Chien, Bishop of Aberdeen and others attempted to put down the insurrection but without avail. Sir Andrew of Raite appears to have taken an active part along with them, and was sent south as the bearer of despatches to Edward, to give an account of the services rendered by his friends in the north.


Edward himself came to Nairn at the head of his army in 1303 and spent a fortnight based at Lochindorb Castle - hunting in the woods which then surrounded the loch, and sending out raiding parties to subjugate castles that were then held against him - Inverness, Cromarty,  Urquhart and Nairn. It would be strange if the king did not at some stage visit his loyal subject Gervaise at Rait Castle which then as now was on the road from Lochindorb to Nairn.


The Mackintoshes Again.


The de Raites had opposed Robert The Bruce, but the Mackintoshes had rendered him loyal service at Bannockburn. And when Robert I became King in 1306, the Mackintoshes revived their claim to the lands at Rait. Surprisingly however, the Cummings were allowed to remain at Rait and the feud with the Mackintoshes continued. In 1442 Alexander Lord Gordon granted a charter of the lands of Raite and Meikle Geddes to the Mackintosh chief. And it seems to have been in that same year that the castle was abandoned for ever.


The story of how this occurred is given at Rait Castle Ghost


Note: When Rait Castle was abandoned in 1442, James II was King of Scots and Henry VI was King of England. The Wars of the Roses were in the future, Leonard da Vinci and Michelangelo were not yet born and Rosslyn Chapel was a mere gleam in Sir William St Clair's eye!