Drawbridge and Nether Bailey
The castle stands on a rugged and irregular promontory jutting into the ice-cold waters of Loch Ness. The landward side of the promontory, most vulnerable to attack, was defended by a great rock cut ditch, 30m across at its widest and an average of 5m deep. The ditch was crossed by a stone causeway with a gap in the middle. A modern gangway replaces the drawbridge that once crossed it. The drawbridge was operated from a wooden superstructure long since removed,
but the post holes supporting the structure can still be seen, as well as the stone buttresses on either side which counteracted the immense thrust of the timbers and lifting mechanism.
The northern half of the promontory, on the left from the gatehouse, is called the nether (or lower) bailey. If the first castle was centred on the upper bailey, it is clear that by the fifteenth century the heart of the castle had moved to the nether bailey, and particularly to the lofty tower-house at its far end. The nether bailey was also defended by a stone curtain wall skirting the outer edge of the rock. It survives to a greater height and the west or landward wall has various loopholes through which archers and gunners could shoot at the besieging force.
History of the Castle
In War and Peace
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