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Blackness Castle, Linlithgow

Castle · Historic Site
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Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress, near the village of Blackness, Scotland, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth.

It was built, probably on the site of an earlier fort, by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s. At this time, Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch. The castle, together with the Crichton lands, passed to James II of Scotland in 1453, and the castle has been crown property ever since. It served as a state prison, holding such prisoners as Cardinal Beaton and the 6th Earl of Angus.
Strengthened by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart in the mid-16th century, the castle became one of the most advanced artillery fortifications of its time in Scotland. A century later, these defences were not enough to prevent Blackness falling to Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650. Some years after the siege, the castle was repaired, and again served as a prison and a minor garrison. In 1693, the spur protecting the gate was heightened, and the Stern Tower shortened as a base for three heavy guns. Barracks and officers' quarters were added in the 1870s, when the castle was used as an ammunition depot, until 1912. The castle was briefly reused by the army during World War I. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

Because of its site, jutting into the Forth, and its long, narrow shape, the castle has been characterised as "the ship that never sailed". The north and south towers are often named "stem" and "stern", with the central tower called the "main mast".
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
839 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Sooo many castles but this one stands out as it sits on the water and you can just imagine how cold it was for those who enjoyed its hospitality back in time!! Great gift shop and knowledgable staff! 
    Sooo many castles but this one stands out as it sits on the water and you can just imagine how cold it was for those who enjoyed its hospitality back in time!! Great gift shop and knowledgable staff!  more »
  • This is a great castle to visit on the banks of the Firth of Forth. The castle offers beautiful views with access to some of its ancient chambers 
    This is a great castle to visit on the banks of the Firth of Forth. The castle offers beautiful views with access to some of its ancient chambers  more »
  • Blackness is a very nice peacefully spot with a fantastic coastal path to boness .Its a pure pleasure to cycle or walk it and is 4 miles long and really easy .It ends on boness links and right... 
    Blackness is a very nice peacefully spot with a fantastic coastal path to boness .Its a pure pleasure to cycle or walk it and is 4 miles long and really easy .It ends on boness links and right...  more »
Google
  • Interesting historical building. Quite difficult to walk around when wet.
  • Publicly owned castle. Had some good, fun and short information signs. The castle is in perfect shaped, we even had a little bagpipe concert in front of the castle !
  • Excellent views from the Castle. The whole family will enjoy it. Great deal of history and again breathtaking views. The staff were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. You must book your spot ahead of time. Road getting there very congested with parked cars but if you have booked your visit you have a parking spot at the castle.
  • Stunning. I was given a verbal tour around then, allowed to walk around the castle at my own speed. Guides were available in open spaces. Great! Really brought history alive.
  • Given the exceptional circumstances that we're having to live in I strongly suggest always booking in advance and checking opening times. With some castles closed or limited access best to check in order to avoid disappointment. We look ed the visit. The tour guide was brilliant and knowledgeable. It was a climb fot me getting about no good for wheelchairs unfortunately. Very picturesque

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