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Scottish Castles

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Local information

Accommodation in Glasgow & Clyde Valley
Glasgow City Council

Castles in Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Glasgow is Scotlandís largest city, and was the UKís City of Architecture and Design in 1999. While this accolade was awarded due to the cityís history since the Industrial Revolution and the Manhattan-style town planning, Glasgow and the surrounding rolling hills of the Clyde Valley were home to stunning architecture in the form of castles since the early 13th century.

Unlike Edinburgh, Glasgow is not home to a major castle or royal home like Edinburgh Castle or Holyroodhouse. However, there are several castles in Glasgow and the surrounding area, beginning with Haggs Castle, a 16th century tower house in the neighbourhood of Pollokshields. While the richly decorated building of Haggs Castle has a long history including time as a military residence and temporarily home to the Museum of Childhood, today Haggs Castle is a private residence.

Nearby in Linn Park lie the ruins of the 15th century Cathcart Castle which was abandoned in the 18th century. Crookston Castle, in southwest Glasgow 5 miles south of the city centre, is a category A listed building in the care of Historic Scotland.

Newark Castle, located on the River Clyde in Port Glasgow, was built in 1478 by George Maxwell and in the 16th century inherited by a powerful friend of King James VI of Scotland, Sir Patrick Maxwell, infamous for murder and abuse. In 1909 Newark Castle became an Historic Scotland property and is today a popular tourist attraction.

Bothwell Castle, Glasgow & Clyde Valley copyright Dave Souza
Bothwell Castle © Dave Souza

Stanley Castle, 14 miles from Port Glasgow, located in the Stanley Reservoir was built in the early 15th century and is now a ruin. This unique ruin is completely inaccessible as it was built on a marsh and is partially submerged by the reservoir.

25 miles to the northwest on the coast lies Castle Levan, a fortified tower house first built in the 14th century. The present structure was enlarged in the mid 1500s and after its renovation in the 1980s, Castle Levan was turned into a B&B accommodation.

Back 22 miles to the southeast lies a 16th century structure called Belltrees Peel, a low hexagonal tower built on a peninsula in Castel Semple Loch. Caldwell Estate is 7 miles further southwest, and the remains of the Caldwell Tower are near to this estate. The tower was built in the 16th century and was three stories high.

Moving deep into the Clyde Valley region 42 miles south of Glasgow leads to Crawford Castle, which is now a ruin. Formerly known as Lindsay Tower, after its former owners, the Lindsay family, Crawford Castle is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is a Category B Listed Building.

Douglas Castle, 14 miles north of Crawford Castle, was a stronghold of the Douglas family since it was built during the 13th century. The castle went through several renovations and redesigns, and today only one corner of the tower of the first castle still remains. Douglas Castle is perhaps best known as the former family seat of the Prime Minister Alec Dougas-Home.

Douglas Castle, Glasgow & Clyde Valley copyright Supergolden
Douglas Castle © Supergolden

20 miles northeast of Douglas Castle sits Strathaven Castle in Strathaven. This ruin is publically accessible and is sometimes known as Avondale Castle. Also located in South Lanarkshire is another ruined castle - Craignethan Castle, a Historic Scotland property 9 miles from Strathaven, 2 miles from the village of Crossford. The 16th century ruin is recognised as an excellent example of a sophisticated fortified building, and is the last purpose-built fortress constructed in Scotland. The Tower of Hallbar, also known as Hallbar Tower is a 16th century tower house roughly one mile east of Crossford and is now a category A listed building and holiday accommodation.

7 miles from Craignethan Castle is Cadzow, a third ruined castle in the area also constructed in the 16th century in the centre of Hamilton, formerly known as Cadzow until it was renamed in the honour of James Hamilton in 1455. This dramatic ruin is also in the hands of Historic Scotland and while there is no public access, there is a viewing platform from Chatelherault Country Park.

10 miles south of Glasgow between Uddingston and Bothwell, Bothwell Castle is a large medieval castle begun in the 13th century by Clan Murray. Its strategic location at the crossing point of the River Clyde, Bothwell played a major role in Scotlandís Wars of Independence and is now a Historic Scotland property.

Gilbertfield Castle, 7 miles from Bothwell, is a ruined 17th century castle on the north slope of Dechmont Hill. At the start of the 18th century, William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, soldier and writer lived in the castle, which is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a category B listed building.

15 miles northeast of Gilbertfield Castle sits Bedlay Castle, a former defensive castle dating from the late 16th and 17th centuries, 8 miles to the northeast of Glasgow. 10 miles north of Bedlay Castle is Bardowie Castle, located near Milngavie, overlooking Bardowie Loch. Built in 1566, this estate also passed into the hands of the Hamiltons in the 18th century and is today a privately owned property.

Just 3 miles from Bardowie Castle and 10 miles northwest of Glasglow, Craigend Castle is a ruined country house whose grounds are located inside of Mugdock Country Park, though its stable block to the north of the house serves as the Mugdock Country Park visitor centre.

Glasgow & Clyde Valley castles

Bullet Point Bardowie Castle
Bullet Point Bedlay Castle
Bullet Point Belltrees Peel
Bullet Point Bothwell Castle
Bullet Point Cadzow Castle
Bullet Point Caldwell Tower
Bullet Point Cathcart Castle
Bullet Point Craigend Castle
Bullet Point Craignethan Castle
Bullet Point Crawford Castle
Bullet Point Crookston Castle
Bullet Point Douglas Castle
Bullet Point Gilbertfield Castle
Bullet Point Haggs Castle
Bullet Point Tower of Hallbar
Bullet Point Castle Levan
Bullet Point Newark Castle
Bullet Point Stanley Castle
Bullet Point Strathaven Castle

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