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Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh and the Lothians

Location: Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4SY (map and directions)

Located 3 miles outside of Edinburgh, Craigmillar Castle is a ruined medieval castle on a hill in Craigmillar and is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Scotland. The views from the tower stretch to Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh & The Lothians copyright Otter
Craigmillar Castle © Otter

History of Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar was begun in the late 14th century by the Preston family and extended throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. Craigmillar Castle stayed in the Preston family until 1660, when it was sold to Sir John Gilmour. The Gilmours remained at Craigmillar Castle until the 18th century and the castle then fell into ruin.

The tower house is one of the oldest in Scotland, and because so much work has been done on the castle throughout several centuries, there are countless areas to explore both in the castle and the surrounding gardens and parkland.

Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh & The Lothians copyright Stuart Yeates
Craigmillar Castle © Stuart Yeates

Craigmillar Castle is associated with Mary, Queen of Scots when she arrived in 1566 to relax after the birth of her son, the future James I of England. Before she left Craigmillar in December of that year, the ‘Craigmillar Bond’ was signed to murder her husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. It is unknown whether Mary knew of this pact or not.

Map and directions

Now in the care of Historic Scotland, the castle is open to the public year round.

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Other castles in Edinburgh & the Lothians

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Bullet Point Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Bullet Point Roslin Castle
Bullet Point Tantallon Castle
Bullet Point Whittingehame Tower
Bullet Point Yester Castle

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