Crichton Castle

Crichton, United Kingdom

Constructed as a tower house in the late 14th century, Crichton Castle was expanded as power of the Crichton family grew. However, the Crichtons fell from favour in the later 15th century, and the castle passed to the Earls of Bothwell. Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell, constructed the Italianate north range in the 1580s, featuring an elaborate diamond-patterned facade. After Bothwell was accused of witchcraft the castle fell into neglect. The ruins are now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland, and are open to the public. A mile to the south-west is Borthwick Castle, a 15th-century tower house that is still in use.

The castle's most distinctive feature is its Italian-influenced courtyard façade, which forms part of the north range. Francis Stewart, the designer, had travelled to Italy, and was inspired by new styles and technology in buildings there, particularly the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara (c. 1582). This was the source of the diamond rustication on the courtyard wall. The initials of Francis and his wife Margaret Douglas appear on the walls, together with an anchor representing Stewart's position of Lord High Admiral of Scotland. Inside are further innovations: Scotland's first 'scale-and-platt' stair, i.e. a modern-style staircase with landings and a drawing room to the north of the old tower.

To the south of the castle is a large stable block, with a horseshoe-shaped window and lodgings above.



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Crichton, United Kingdom
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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ingrid Peebles (5 months ago)
It was closed off when we visited as it needs some work done but was still worth a visit. Amazing views.
Brian Harvey (7 months ago)
Moderate strenuous hike from the scout campsite . Castle and chapel closed due to risk of falling masonry.
Phillip Kear (8 months ago)
Currently closed for masonry repairs, but able to walk around outer perimeter. A great brooding mass of stonework, in a spectacular hillside location with far-reaching views. Easy 1 mile walk by footpath from medieval Crichton Church
Sharon Coulson (3 years ago)
Although it wasn't open we walked right up to and around the castle , beautiful tranquil location , well worth the short walk
Alex Watson (4 years ago)
Fantastic visit to Crichton Castle today unfortunately closed temporarily due too covid19, so we could only look around outside.
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First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.

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