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Craignethan Castle

An early artillery fortification with an exceptional residential tower and fine setting.

Craignethan Castle

Please note: There is currently maintenance work being carried out on the Keep at the site. As a result the area is closed to visitors, however all other areas of the site remain open. Apologies for the inconvenience. Admission prices have been reduced while the works take place.

Craignethan, dating back to around 1530, is an important early artillery fortification with an exceptional residential tower and fine setting.

The oldest part is the tower house built by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart. The castle’s defences include a caponier, a stone vaulted artillery chamber which is rare in Britain.


  • The tower house – a quite exceptional ‘double-pile’ residence, far ahead of its time.
  • The west rampart – a once formidable artillery defence, originally hiding the tower house from view but cast down in 1579.
  • The caponier – one of only two such gun defences built in Scotland (the other, at Blackness, was probably also Hamilton of Finnart’s handiwork), and the first built in Britain.
  • The nature trail – descend from the castle into the deep glen of the Nethan Water.
Green Tourism Award - Silver


Region – Glasgow, Clyde and Ayrshire
Postcode: ML11 9PL

Opening arrangements

1 April - 30 September , Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Admission prices

Adult £3.60, Concession £2.70

Events at Craignethan Castle

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31 January 2015

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