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Crichton Castle


2024 Update - Crichton Castle is currently closed for restoration work at the time of writing (30 January 2024).

Crichton Castle's most notable architectural feature is its unusual courtyard wall made from diamond-shaped stonework. The wall was inspired by the Renaissance buildings that the 5th Earl of Bothwell viewed on his travels to Italy. It is believed that the model for the wall was the Palazzo dei Diamante in Ferrara.

Crichton Castle has links to Mary Queen of Scots through her marriage to the 4th Earl of Borthwick then resident of the castle. There is an information board in a corner of the courtyard that explains this historical link, but a guidebook will be required if you want more details about Queen Mary's links to the castle.

The approach to Crichton Castle is via a rough farm track of a few hundred metres. When you first see the castle standing on its lonely defensive position above the river Tyne you have the impression of a forbidding fortress. The refined architecture of the courtyard then comes as a surprise.

Crichton Castle has a few chambers that still have all their walls and a ceiling. However, we find it less interesting than nearby Craigmillar, Dirleton or Tantallon because it doesn't have many corridors and interconnected rooms to explore.

There is a spiral staircase leading to upper levels, but we were not overly enthusiastic to climb these stairs as they were liberally coated with bird droppings.

Beside the car park for Crichton Castle there is a pretty medieval church, the Crichton Collegiate Church that dates from around 1450.

This is one for the history enthusiasts.

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass


Crichton, near Pathhead, EH37 5QH

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April - 30 September: Daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (last entry at 5pm)
October - March: closed


Adult £ 7.50, Child £ 4.50, Senior £ 6




English guidebooks and information boards


Wheelchair access is difficult as there is a rough 500 metres of farm track to the castle.







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