Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Eilean Donan Castle

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

EILEAN DONAN CASTLE (J3x48) 3C Triangular set Arnold Grimes Tower Collection

1- 8 1s lead down between 2s and 3s, cross and cast back to top, pass RSh to face opposite couple (Man faces 2s and Lady faces 3s), all set
9-16 1s dance under arches made by 2s/3s, 1s cast to meet at bottom, turn RH and cast back to original places (Man behind 2s and Lady behind 3s)
17-24 All petronella turn to face partner, set and repeat to end in partner's place
25-32 All Men chase clockwise 1 place while Ladies LH across ⅔ to meet partner to form star and Balance, all turn RH ½ way
33-40 All Ladies chase clockwise 1 place while Men LH across ⅔ to meet partner to form star and Balance, all ¾ turn RH to end in new positions
41-48 All circle 6H round and back

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Eilean Donan Castle - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Eilean Donan (pronounced "ail-en don-an" or "elen donan") is a small tidal island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland near the point where the sea lochs Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Long meet. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge and lies about half a mile from the village of Dornie.

The island's original castle was built in the thirteenth century; it became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies, the Clan MacRae. However, in response to the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions early in the 18th century, government ships destroyed the castle in 1719. The present-day castle is Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap's 20th-century reconstruction of the old castle.

It is perhaps noteworthy that many repeat the 'fact' that Eilean Donan castle has one of only two anticlockwise (left-handed) spiral staircases in a castle in Great Britain. This 'fact' is easily proven untrue. This study published by the Castle Studies Group found over eighty-five examples of anticlockwise staircases from castles in England and Wales built from the 1070s to the 1500s.

It is also perhaps noteworthy that many repeat the 'fact' that anticlockwise spiral staircases may be advantageous to defenders who hold the sword in the left hand instead of the right, and vice versa. This 'fact' is also highly likely to be untrue. I will spare you the details, but for those open-minded enough to submit themselves to such heresy, I recommend this Triskeleheritage page.

In Scottish Gaelic, Eilean Donnain means "Donnán's island", named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in the Dark Ages (617). Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.

A Visit To Eilean Donan - Information Video

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Eilean Donan article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright David Iliff. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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