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Craignethan Castle in photograph

January 25, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Craignethan Castle is a ruined Castle in South Lanarkshire. It is located above the river nethan, a tributary of the river clyde. 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.

Craignethan is built on an imposing site above a bend in the River Nethan. Steep slopes protect the castle on the south, north and east sides, but the castle is actually overlooked by higher ground to the west, making it far more vulnerable than it appears. Craignethan’s defences are therefore concentrated towards the west. The castle comprises a low central keep, within a rectangular walled courtyard. To the west is a deep ditch and beyond, a larger outer courtyard. MacIvor writes that “Craignethan was the last private castle of high defensive capability built de novo in Scotland”, comparing it to the contemporary remodelings undertaken at Blackness Castle and Tantallon Castle.

You can view from the inside as it is run by Historic Scotland and open from April to September. A worthwhile tour.

On the way towards the castle you can see the entrance to the old pit, which Scottish coal has sealed off, temporarily.

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