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Craigmillar Castle


A well preserved medieval castle, Craigmillar has a tower house, courtyard and gardens.

Craigmillar Castle

Nooks and crannies

Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.

The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.

At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.

‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.

Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.

The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.

The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.

Events at Craigmillar Castle

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2 August 2015

Weaving the Unicorn exhibition

Stirling Castle

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Waterloo Colours

Edinburgh Castle

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The Other Mary Exhibition

Stirling Castle

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Ring of Brodgar Walk

Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge

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And Yet it Stands

Stirling Castle

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Bright Coast, Long Shadows by Bryan Angus

Duff House

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Jack Vettriano Exhibition

Duff House

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MacDonald Lord of the Isles

Urquhart Castle

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Theatre in the Palace

Linlithgow Palace

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The Queen's Progress

St Andrews Castle

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From Waterside to Waterloo

Edinburgh Castle

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Man at Arms Tour - Medieval Archery

Tantallon Castle

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Dirleton Castle Garden Tour

Dirleton Castle And Garden

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