Craignethan Castle

Craignethan Castle
Craignethan Castle

You might have guessed by now that we love visiting ruined castles, and there are plenty of them within easy reach of where we live. Craignethan Castle, in the care of Historic Scotland, is one of our favourites. The tower house was built around 1530 by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, the eldest (but illegitimate) son of the 1st Earl of Arran and a friend of King James V. The castle’s defences include its location, high above the valley cut by the River Nethan, and a caponier, a stone vaulted artillery chamber which is rare in Britain.

Claims to fame include giving shelter to Mary, Queen of Scots, prior to her defeat at Langside on 13 May 1568, and, allegedly, being the inspiration for Tillietudlem Castle in Sir Walter Scott’s Old Mortality. Scott denied this, but interest in his novel attracted visitors to Craignethan and a railway station built nearby was named after the fictional castle. Houses built near the station developed into the modern village of Tillietudlem. Fact follows fiction!

After visiting the castle, we explored part of the Lower Nethan Gorge Nature Reserve which runs from the castle down to the village of Crossford.

On the way home, we stopped at Blackhill Viewpoint, a rather damp trek across fields, but worth it.

I’ve just realised that in the picture of the trig point, you can just see a fuzzy rainbow forming. I said it was damp!


33 thoughts on “Craignethan Castle

      • Fife Photos and Art December 3, 2015 / 13:15

        You’re welcome Anabel 🙂 It’s not a castle I know, but next time we are over in the Glasgow area, we may well pay a visit, it looks like it’s set in some beautiful countryside 🙂


        • Anabel Marsh December 3, 2015 / 15:01

          Sounds as though I will be setting your agenda in the Glasgow area – and you will be setting mine next time we go to Fife! That’s the beauty of blogging.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Suzanne et Pierre December 3, 2015 / 13:33

    Lovely. Thanks for showing more of Scotland to us…We have visited 3 times but we obviously haven’t seen all of there is to see so it is good to continue to travel through your posts. (Suzanne)


    • Anabel Marsh December 3, 2015 / 15:02

      I have lived here since 1986 and still find places I haven’t been! So many jewels in such a small country.


  2. claudiabookwright December 3, 2015 / 23:33

    Lush and green. Living in an arid area as I do, the thought of damp with rainbows is most pleasant.


    • Anabel Marsh December 3, 2015 / 23:41

      Not when it goes on for too long though! Our last dry day seems ages ago now….


  3. Heyjude December 4, 2015 / 00:00

    Ah, I do like a good castle 🙂


  4. ramblingtart December 4, 2015 / 10:00

    What a beautiful place. 🙂 I so enjoy exploring castles and learning their history. 🙂


  5. rosemaylily2014 December 5, 2015 / 06:17

    Very interesting Anabel – I love knowing about the history and background of places. Love old castles too but don’t get too many of them here in Perth!! The scenery is lovely despite the rain 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2015 / 08:13

      Thanks, I guess you don’t. I’m sure there are compensations though – like the weather!

      Liked by 1 person

      • rosemaylily2014 December 7, 2015 / 04:14

        Yes though summer disappeared over the weekend – we had our coldest maximum December’s day in over 50 years here in Perth – it struggled to reach the high teens and was mid teens most of the day and wild and wet. Yesterday was similar with a cool south westerly wind pounding in from the ocean and it’s going to be cooler than average until later in the week. Not Perth summer weather at all!! Am sure it will get back to normal soon though! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Lori L MacLaughlin December 5, 2015 / 19:30

    I love visiting ruined castles, too. And I always enjoy your photos. Love the fuzzy rainbow.


  7. restlessjo December 5, 2015 / 20:28

    I don’t recollect seeing a caponier before, so thanks for that, Anabel. 🙂 And I was pleased that the rainbow came as an afterthought. I thought it was only me that did that 🙂


  8. Adriana December 5, 2015 / 23:40

    Hi Anabel, the mobile library visits Tillietudlem, and has on occasion had to drive back up the steep winding road to Crossford. Walter says it’s very easy ! I have also done some painting from Black hill.


    • Anabel Marsh December 6, 2015 / 08:11

      Well, I guess Walter has had years of practice but I can’t imagine it being easy in a mobile! Beautiful spot for painting though.


  9. Birgit December 8, 2015 / 06:27

    Hoe beautiful and I would love to explore old castles. I love the statue/gargoyle (?)


      • ledrakenoir December 30, 2015 / 09:12

        All the best Happy New Year wishes for you and yours from here too… 🙂


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