Craignethan Castle, Lesmahagow

3.8
#5 of 9 in Historic Sites in South Lanarkshire
Craignethan Castle is a ruined castle in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is located above the River Nethan, a tributary of the River Clyde, at. The castle is two miles west of the village of Crossford, and 4.5 miles north-west of Lanark. Built in the first half of the 16th century, Craignethan is recognised as an excellent early example of a sophisticated artillery fortification, although its defences were never fully tested.HistoryThe barony of Draffane, in which Craignethan was located, was a property of the Black Douglases until their forfeiture in 1455. The land was granted to the Hamilton family, and in 1530 was given by James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran to his illegitimate son James Hamilton of Finnart.James Hamilton of Finnart had travelled in Europe, and had become an accomplished architect and military engineer. Appointed Kings Master of Works, he was responsible for the defences at Blackness Castle, as well as the renaissance facades of Linlithgow Palace. At Craignethan, he set out to build a "showcase" to display his talents in both domestic and military architecture.Despite his earlier Royal favour, Hamilton was executed for treason in 1540, and his properties were forfeit to the crown. The Hamilton family, in the person of the 2nd Earl of Arran, regained Craignethan Castle two years later. The second earl added a large outer courtyard to the west of the castle. Arran, who became Duc de Ch√Ętellerault following Mary, Queen of Scots' marriage to the French Dauphin, served as regent in her infancy. However, he later opposed Mary's second marriage to Lord Darnley, and was forced to surrender his castles at Craignethan and Cadzow.
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Craignethan Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
48 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Fantastic castle in the Clyde valley Half way down steep hill on a bike or almost impossibly half way up One of the most hated places in all of The Central belt  more »
  • After walking through the lovely Nethan Gorge in order to reach the castle, I was hugely disappointed to be told by the attendant that I couldn't sit on their bench seat to catch my breath unless I pa...  more »
  • Although previous contributors have stated that this castle is situated in a remote location (Isn't that where castles are supposed to be?) it is well worth finding. Although now a ruin, a talk with t...  more »
Google
  • We had a great day out- 3 kids and a picnic. Loads of space to explore. The castle steps were really steep, so we had to be extra careful, but the former garden area is perfect for running around in.
  • very nice place. Helpful and very welcoming lady in the shop. Even nicer experience thanks to her!
  • Excellent visit despite the difficult access road.
  • Unimpressive in size but perhaps a true gem in character and historical/ architectural detail.
  • Beautiful castle right in the middle of some truly stunning countryside. Fascinating history and an amazing place to explore, kids and adults will love it.
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