NT 288-709 Midlothian Scotland
Craigmillar Castle is a late 14th century stone L-plan tower house, founded by the Prestons of Craigmillar. On a commanding eminence overlooking Edinburgh Castle and the Firth of Forth, the four storey tower stands against a low crag which possibly once supported an earlier fortification. In the mid 15th century the castle was encased by an inner courtyard, with ranges of buildings along three sides of the high curtain wall and round flanking towers at the angles. In the early 16th century, the large walled and ditched outer courtyard, with a north-eastern round flanking tower and a family chapel, dedicated to St Thomas Becket, were added. In 1544 during 'Rough Wooing' invasion, the castle was torched after Sir Simon Preston gave it up without a fight, when besieged by English troops under the Earl of Hertford. In the 1550s, the east range was rebuilt to four storeys and a P-shaped ornamental fishpond added to the south garden. Mary, Queen of Scots used the castle often and it's to here she fled after the murder of David Rizzoi in the Palace of Holyroodhouse. From 1660, the castle was altered and the west range rebuilt, when it was the family residence of Sir John Gilmore but a century later it was abandoned when the family, transferred to Inch House. 5 miles south is Dalhousie Castle.
Craigmillar Castle is located in Craigmillar, off Craigmillar Castle Road. 4 miles south-east of Edinburgh city centre, on the A7.
The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, October 9:30-4:30pm, November to March Saturday to Wednesday 9:30-4:30pm.
There is a car park.