Blackness Castle, Linlithgow

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 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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Blackness Castle Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
802 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We had to take some time before heading into Edinburgh after our flight into Scotland and this was the perfect stop. History, space for the kids to run after a long flight, film location, beautiful.....  more »
  • Ship-shaped castle from the 1400s. Blackness Castle built in the 15th century and is said to look like a 'Ship that never sailed'! One of the area's many historic locations that has stood strong...  more »
  • The first thing I have to say about this castle is that it is really tough driving down to it. Once you get off the main road, there are very tight single track roads. We had to turn around at one.....  more »
Google
  • Excellent castle sits outside Edinburgh near Linlithgow. Has views of river but is very historical and information boards throughout. To the front you can have picnic with a few picnic tables around. On clear days you can spot the three Bridges in the distance. Note not the most disabled friendly castle as cobblestone and uneven paths.
  • Why have we never came before? What a lovely castle. Price very reasonable and alot to see for the size of it. Very well maintained with stunning views esp from the Tower roof. Lovely picnic spot too.
  • Lovely preserved castle. Very dog friendly. Small car park but the staff were able to keep fitting visitors in. Lovely, friendly staff gave us a refund as I didn't realise that English Heritage members get in for free!
  • Visited on a lovely sunny day, which was perfect as it meant we could walk round the whole castle! The castle is in good shape, and we loved it. Highly recommended.
  • Recommend joining as this is the cheapest way to get to see more of our beautiful history. Pay monthly is a great option. Fantastic for the kids bring picnic too.

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60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, extra fast, hidden gems Preferences: March, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Extra fast 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, extra fast, popular & hidden gems Preferences: April, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Extra fast 30 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Edinburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 6 days in Edinburgh BY A USER FROM TURKEY July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems Preferences: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 19 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 2 days in Grangemouth BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Scandinavia, Scotland & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems Preferences: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 29 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM RUSSIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in Glasgow BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 14 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium
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