||It has been suggested that Achnacarry Castle be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2015.|
|Scottish Gaelic: Achadh na Cairidh|
Achnacarry shown within the Highland council area
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||PH34 4|
|UK Parliament||Ross, Skye and Lochaber|
|Scottish Parliament||Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch|
Achnacarry (Scottish Gaelic: Achadh na Cairidh; 'field of the fish-trap/weir') is a small hamlet, private estate, and a castle in the Lochaber region of Highland, Scotland. It occupies a strategic position on an isthmus between Loch Lochy to the east, and Loch Arkaig to the west.
The settlement has a long association with Clan Cameron, Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel built the original Achnacarry Castle in about 1655. This was destroyed by government troops after the Battle of Culloden, but "New Achnacarry" was built near the same site in Scottish Baronial style in 1802. It was used as a Commando Training Depot in World War II and the village retains close ties to British Commandos, the United States Army Rangers and similar units from other Allied nations. In 1928, the Achnacarry Agreement was signed, an early attempt to set petroleum production quotas.
"As you approach Achnacarry, which lies rather low, but is surrounded by very fine trees, the luxuriance of the tangled woods, surmounted by rugged hills, becomes finer and finer till you come to Loch Arkaig, a little over half a mile from the house. This is a very lovely loch, reminding one of Loch Katrine, especially where there is a little pier, from which we embarked on board a very small but nice screw steamer which belongs to Cameron of Lochiel."—Royal Visit to Achnacarry, from the Journal of Queen Victoria, Friday, September 12, 1873.
Built on the ruins of the old Achnacarry Castle in 1802, the current building gained fame as the Commando Training Depot for the Allied Forces from 1942 to 1945. British Commandos, United States Army Rangers and commandos from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Belgium trained there. As live ammunition was used during training, there were some casualties whilst training at Achnacarry. The castle also suffered some damage due to fire.
Several military associations  still sponsor a Commando March either annually or from time to time. Generally it is a timed seven mile march, in full battle gear, backpack and combat boots, from Spean Bridge to Achnacarry.
The Chiefs of the Clan Cameron have maintained homes at Achnacarry since about 1655. The castle itself is not open to the public but visitors are welcome at the Clan Cameron Museum about a quarter-mile from the castle. The current Chief of Clan Cameron, traditionally known simply as "Lochiel", Donald Cameron of Lochiel, continues to live in Achnacarry.
In August 2001, Achnacarry served as the site of the International Gathering of Clan Cameron, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Colonel Sir Donald Hamish Cameron of Lochiel, K.T., XXVI Chief of Clan Cameron. It also hosted the International Gathering of Clan Cameron in the summer of 2009.
In 1928 Achnacarry served as the meeting place for global petroleum producers in an effort to set production quotas. A document known as the Achnacarry Agreement or "As-Is" Agreement was signed on 17 September 1928.
The Dark Mile
- Rutherford House, home of the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, from 1911 to 1941 which was originally called Achnacarry in honour of his family roots.
- Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement – a 1944 attempt to control petroleum production
Notes and references
- MacKenzie, Alexander (2008), "The History of the Camerons", The Celtic Magazine (BiblioBazaar) IX (XCVII): 156, ISBN 978-0-559-79382-0 Modern reprint of November 1883 article with a detailed account of Cameron history from 1654 to 1665.
- http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/royalmarines/units-and-deployments/3-commando-brigade/45-commando-royal-marines/news/achnacarry-speed-march-2008 & http://www.combinedops.com/Commando%20March.htm
- International Gathering of Clan Cameron
- Bamberg, J.H. (1994), The History of the British Petroleum Company, Volume 2: The Anglo-Iranian Years, 1928–1954, Cambridge University Press, pp. 528–34 The 18 August 1928 draft of the Achnacarry Agreement.