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Craignethan Castle
NS 816-463 Lanarkshire Scotland

Craignethan CastleCraignethan Castle is an early 16th century stone tower house and courtyard fortress, founded by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart. Standing on a promontory formed by the deep ravines of the River Nethan and Craignethan Burn, is the last great medieval castle built in Scotland. The squat rectangular tower house, is encased by a curtain wall flanked by three storey square towers on the eastern angles. On the western open approach, rising ground overlooks the castle and the formidable artillery defence of a massive west rampart concealed the tower. To the front of the rampart, the bottom of the deep stone lined ditch is defended by a stone vaulted artillery chamber, called a caponier. In the mid 16th century a large outer courtyard was added, with a central gateway and square angle towers to the fore. The Hamiltons supported Mary Queen of Scots even after her abdication in 1567 and she sheltered here prior to her defeat at Langside in 1568. In 1579 after a short siege, the captured castle was slighted and the demolished west rampart was used to fill the ditch. Sold to the Covenanter Andrew Hay in 1659, he added the two storey house in the outer courtyard. 14 miles north-west at Uddingston is Bothwell Castle.


Street Map

Craignethan Castle is located west of Crossford, off Corra Mill Road. 5 miles north-west of Lanark, on the A72.

The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday October to March 9:30-4:30pm.

There is a car park.


Craignethan Castle pictures and large castle map
Craignethan Castle Picture 1Craignethan Castle Picture 2Craignethan Castle Picture 3Castle Map of the Area

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