Andrew spratt contributes:
To the north west of the Caithness
town of Thurso, close to the seashore, sits a few confused grassy rubble
mounds. These are all that remain of the ancient Scrabster castle or the
'Palace' of the Bishop's of Caithness, first recorded in 1328. The site
apears to have had a keep a lean-to hall block with kitchens, a low
surrounding courtyard wall and possibly a gatehouse on the landward side.
In 1544, Scrabster was seized by the Sinclairs, Earls of Caithness of Girnigoe
castle for unclear reasons. But likely to stop Alexander Gordon, son of
the Earl of Sunderland from taking hold of the castle as temporary Bishop
and turning the site into a Gordon interest. By as early as 1726 the
castle was totally ruinous.
Today the seaward side of the castle is marked by a World War II concrete
pill box, while the landward side is highlighted by a ditch and stream.
Which at one time if dammed back could provided a reasonable moat to
defend the castle's landward approach and must have been spanned by a
wooden drawbridge. The reconstruction shows the castle as it may have
appeared from the sea with the courtyard wall running back to the main
keep seized by the Sinclairs in 1544.