Crichton Castle

Christine Smith

Grovedale, Australia

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FEATURED in Dilapidated Buildings_ 26-08-2013
FEATURED in The Scots Are Coming 01-09-2013
FEATURED in Around the World 02-09-2013
FEATURED in A Place To Call Home 03-09-2013

Camera: Canon EOS 50D, Lens: @ 83mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f6.3, Shutter: 1/160

The ruins of Crichton Castle stand tucked away out of sight, on a terrace overlooking the head of the River Tyne, near the village of Crichton, in Midlothian, Scotland. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument administered by Historic Scotland. The castle served as a noble residence for some 200 years, beginning in the 1400’s. John de Crichton built the oldest part of the present castle complex – the lofty tower house that dominates the east range of the present quadrangular castle courtyard. We know very little about him. However, his son, William, became one of the most influential statesmen of his age. His undoubted astuteness and political influence combined to bring him to the very threshold of greatness. In 1437 he became Chancellor of Scotland. This position brought wealth as well as influence. Sir William greatly extended his father’s castle, building an innovative great hall and kitchen around a new courtyard. He also built a collegiate church a short distance away, where he paid priests to pray for his salvation and that of his family. On the accession of James IV in 1488, Crichton passed to the Hepburns, newly created Earls of Bothwell. It remained with them for the rest of its days. As such, it was linked with some of the most remarkable events in 16th-century Scotland, particularly during the time of James, 4th Earl who married Mary Queen of Scots in 1567. Prior to that union, Mary visited Crichton in 1562 for the wedding celebrations of Bothwell’s sister, Janet. Mary’s third husband built nothing new at Crichton, but his successor, Francis Stewart, the 5th Earl, expanded it dramatically. The north lodging, built around 1580, is a most extraordinary structure. Its highly attractive, diamond-faceted façade, overlooking the courtyard, would be more at home in the Mediterranean, in Spain, Italy or southern France. Francis also had a most unusual complex of stables built beside the castle, with a huge overlight in the shape of a horseshoe

Artwork Comments

  • Nicole W.
  • Christine Smith
  • John Velocci
  • Christine Smith
  • Katey1
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  • Guendalyn
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  • Sharon Brown
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  • Karen E Camilleri
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  • Lori Peters
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  • walela
  • Christine Smith
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