Craignethan Castle, Lesmahagow

3.8
#6 of 8 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
43 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Good size car park and short walk to impressive looking castle, with helpful guide. Castle has an interesting history and provided lots of nooks and crannies to explore, good number of plaques giving ...  more »
  • This place was very far out of the way with roads that were very small. Be prepared. Actually, I enjoy small, back country roads, so this was the best part. Once we got there, it had started to rain. ...  more »
  • Craignethan Castle ruins is worth a short visit if in the area. Inexpensive entrance fee and i would say no more than an hour to explore. Wouldn't travel a long distance to visit this castle ruin Prob...  more »
Google
  • A great place to wander around for a few hours. Well kept and very peacefull
  • Gorgeous views, well maintained historial ruins. Toilet and small shop onsite.
  • This has to be one of the more interesting castles and definitely a bit of a hidden gem and absolutely worth a visit. The lady (sorry I forgot your name) in charge was delightful and very enthusiastic. Historic Scotland can either pick their staff well or working at their properties makes you a very happy and why wouldn't it.
  • Absolutely beautiful, a hidden gem. Great place to take the children and dogs allowed to as long as they are on the lead. We will definitely return.
  • A bit awkward to get to - lots of single track roads, but a great castle to explore once you are there. If you like spiral staircases, underground vaults and interesting rooms to explore, this is a fun and reasonably child friend castle.

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