Explore the Remains of Cadzow Castle

Cadzow Castle lies in ruins approximately two miles southeast of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies above the gorge of the Avon Water to the west of the hunting lodge in the beautiful grounds of what is now the Chatelherault Country Park. The Park was the pleasure grounds of the Hamilton Palace. The town was known as Cadzow till 1455 when its name was changed to Hamilton in honor of the First Lord.

The ancient kings of Strathclyde were supposed to have been a hunting lodge at Cadzow. The original Cadzow Castle was built in the 12th Century as a residence for King David I and was the royal hunting lodge for Alexander II and Alexander III. The castle along with the lands went to the once powerful family of Comyn. It fell into the hands of the Crown during the controversial reign of John Baliol.

King Robert Bruce granted these lands along with others to Walter Fitz-Gilbert, the founder of the Hamilton family. It was then rebuilt by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, around 1530, for his half-brother James Hamilton, the 2nd Earl of Arran. Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here after her dramatic escape from Loch Leven Castle in 1568.

In 1572, Arran fortified Cadzow Castle but in 1579 it was attacked and besieged by the Crown. Subsequently it was captured and destroyed by explosives. No one lived here again after this but it was partially rebuilt around1820 by Alexander, the 10th Duke of Hamilton to act as a picturesque folly within the parkland of Hamilton Palace.

The Castle has now been a ruin for centuries and the visible structures are a strongly-constructed keep with drum towers at the southwest and southeast with vaulted chambers below. Now maintained by Historic Scotland the ruins are too dangerous to visit. One can get a good view of the ruins from the Duke’s Bridge built across the Avon Gorge.

Cadzow Castle is the subject of a fine ballad by Sir Walter Scott, describing of the reception of James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, by the Clan Hamilton, after he assassinated the Regent.


Combine Flights?

New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.

Latest Travel Articles

Highland Fling - by Joan Jaffe (Part One)

We were bound to have trouble in Customs with the muesli, Dick predicted, and maybe the half jar.... read more

Highland Fling - by Joan Jaffe (Part Two)

The charm of hiking in the Highlands is the other side of the difficulty: that is, the mostly tr.... read more

Lakes & Lochs of the Trossachs Region

Often referred to with the affectionate moniker of “the highlands in miniature”, the Trossac.... read more

Bathgate's History at the Bennie Museum

Visitors to Bathgate in West Lothian will find loads of interesting information on the history o.... read more

Stroll Through the Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam

Situated in the Perthshire village of Birnam, the Beatrix Potter Garden pays tribute to the 19th.... read more

More Articles