Blackness Castle History:
1440s - Blackness Castle was built for Sir
George Crichton, a prominent landowner in the
area. The castle was built at the small
harbour that served as a port for the town of
Linlithgow 4 miles inland.
were close to the Royals, holding positions
such as Governor of Scotland, Governor of
Stirling Castle and Constable of
The Crichton's rival clan was the Douglas,
with their stronghold of Tantallon
Castle being 30 miles east of
The Crichton main castle was Crichton
Castle 14 miles southeast of
Many Scottish Clans had long running feuds
with neighbouring clans, leading to
destroying each others castles, stealing
cattle, and murder.
1439 - the Crichton's invited two Douglas
to Edinburgh Castle to meet the infant King
James II Stewart, then executed the two
Douglas on Castle Hill.
The Douglas Clan was seen as wanting to
take control of Scotland.
1452, James II murdered Lord Douglas at
Stirling Castle to help keep the Stewart's in
control of Scotland.
1453 - King James II took control of
Blackness Castle and Crichton lands. One of
the Royals main residences was Linlithgow Palace 4 miles
Late 1400s, the Royals began using the
castle as a state prison, with many of the
first prisoners being involved in the
Reformation, when Scotland was ending
Christain Catholicism in favour of Chistian
Other prisoners were from disputes between
Scotland and England during the years of
Mary Queen of
Scots from the 1540s. King Henry VIII of
England wanted to unify Scotland and England
by having Mary mary his son Edward.
Battles with England over Mary continued
until Mary was executed in England in
1534 - 1540, Blackness Castle
fortifications were extended using advanced
innovations of the time.
1650 - during the English Civil War,
Oliver Cromwell's Army besieged Blackness
when they invaded Scotland. Bombardment from
land and sea led to the defenders of the
castle surrendering and the castle being
1667 - Blackness Castle was repaired to
serve again as a prison, holding a number of
Covenanters, Scots that rebelled against the
King's interference in Scotland's church
1707 - the Union of Scotland and England
led to Blackness Castle being used as one of
four Scottish fortresses of the British Army,
along with Stirling Castle, Dumbarton
Castle, and Edinburgh
1759 to 1815 - Blackness Castle was used
to hold French prisoners during a series of
conflicts such as the Seven Years'
War and Napoleonic
Wars, mainly with the French.
1868 - the cast-iron pier was built with a
gate and drawbridge, one of the last of its
kind to be built in Britain.
1870 - Blackness Castle was used as an
ammunition depot for central Scotland. The
castle was altered at this time including the
building of barracks that can be seen just
inside the main entrance.
1919 - after World War One, the castle was
run by the Office of Works that oversee the
building and maintenance of Royal
1926 - 1935 - Blackness Castle was
restored to its pre 1800s condition.
Today - Blackness Castle is run by
Historic Environment Scotland, open to the
public most days of the year, with a small