The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Battle Of Strome


This tune commemorates a battle between the MacKenzies of Kintail and the Glengarry MacDonalds. These Clans were in almost constant strife before and after the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, circa 1493. Stuart Kings of the period contributed much fuel to the feud with land tenure policies that ensured bitter clan rivalries. Campbells and Mackenzies fought for dominance in the west of Scotland and lesser clans struggled for survival.


The basic issue was control of lands.


This battle, which took place about 1602, ended with the MacKenzies taking the Castle after a long siege. The defenders had run out of powder and bargained for surrender on condition of going free with their baggage. Lord Kintail agreed and as soon as the castle was cleared of MacDonalds, he had the castle blown up.


Glengarry himself had been killed in a ship battle on Loch Carron shortly before the Battle of Strome.


In reprisal, the Glengarry MacDonalds under Allan MacRanald MacDonell of Lundie raided lands in Easter Ross held by MacKenzie. They burned the church of Kilchrist (Cill Criosd) with the congregation, adherents of MacKenzie, inside. So the story goes, but recent research has raised a doubt about the immolation of the congregation.


Both of these tragic events are remembered in piobaireachd tunes.


The ruins of Castle Strome can still be seen on the shore at the mouth of Loch Carron.


Return from The Battle Of Strome to General Piobaireachd Stories




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