Old Breachacha Castle, Isle of Coll, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Old Breachacha Castle stands upon a low, rocky promontory at the head of Loch Breachacha. It was constructed in the 15th century as a tower house with walled outbuildings by the Macleans of Coll. The Macleans of Duart invaded their cousins on Coll to try and take the island for themselves in 1590. A battle was fought at the castle where the Coll Macleans defeated the Duart Macleans, decapitating them and then throwing the remains in a stream which is still known as “The Stream of the Heads”. Coll was home for over 500 years to this victorious branch of the Clan Maclean. The Macleans of Coll retained their baronial fief and Castle of Breachacha until 1848 when Alexander Maclean of Coll emigrated to Natal, South Africa where he died unmarried.

Old Breachacha Castle was replaced by New Breachacha Castle in the 18th century and the old castle fell into ruin but was restored to liveable conditions in the 1960s by Major N. V. MacLean Bristol. It is often described as the most perfect and least altered example of a medieval stronghold in the Hebrides.