Blackness Castle

Falkirk (Historic Scotland)

Blackness Castle is an impressive fortress on the shore of the Firth of Forth, just to the north-east of Linlithgow. It was built by the Crichton family in the 1440s but became a royal castle in 1453. The entrance is at the 'stern' tower to the south, across the green from a 19th-century barrack block.

blackness castle - south tower
blackness - central tower and curtain wall

The central or 'mast' tower dominates the interior of the castle, standing five storeys high. The thickness of the curtain wall is testimony to the nature of this stronghold.

This view of the central tower shows the corner stair turret which was added in the 17th century. It also shows the rough floor surface within the courtyard, which comprises the natural rocky outcrop on which the castle was constructed.

blackness - central tower and courtyard
blackness - central tower interior

One of the rooms on the upper floors of the central tower. The tower was used to house important prisoners in the 16th century. These men were allowed a decent standard of living despite their imprisonment.

The smaller north tower protects the tapered end of the castle. A modern jetty extends into the river.

blackness castle - the north tower
blackness castle - external

The external view of the castle - the north-west wall shows the tapering plan of this part of the castle. It is easy to see why the castle has been given the title 'the ship that never sailed'.

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