Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle (HM1NUD)

Location: Blackness EH49 7NQ Falkirk
Country: United Kingdom
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N 56° 0.331', W 3° 30.993'

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"Harbour, Castle, and Prison"

Blackness Castle was built in the 15th century beside the harbour serving the important royal burgh of Linlithgow. It was used as a state prison until the 1707 Treaty of Union, holding for the most part of high or middle rank. The best known prisoner was Cardinal Beaton, confined here for about a month in 1543.

In 1543 a building campaign had just been completed which transformed Blackness into one of the most formidable artillery fortifications in Scotland. Much of what you see dates from that time. Besieged and damaged by Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650, a general repair was begun under Charles II.

A long period of obscurity as a minor garrison followed in the 1707 Treaty of the Union until 1870-74, when Blackness was converted into an ammunition depot. It was finally abandoned for military purposes after World War I.

The castle as remodeled during the reigns of James V and his daughter Mary Queen of Scots (drawing by Dave Pollock). Work began in 1537 on massively thickening the walls and raising them in height. Yawning wide-mouthed gunholes pierced the walls for the new defensive artillery. During Mary's reign (1542-67), the original castle entrance on this side was blocked up and a new gateway opened up on the far side of the castle. The spur (on the left as you look at the castle) was built to protect the new entry.
The work made Blackness one of the most formidable artillery fortifications in Scotland.

The castle as it might have looked when first built about 1440 (drawing by Dave Pollock).
The builder was probably Sir George Crichton, brother of the chancellor of Scotland. In 1453, Sir George gave the castle to James II and it has been Crown property ever since.
Placed ByHistoric Scotland
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 11th, 2015 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)30V E 467788 N 6206813
Decimal Degrees56.00551667, -3.51655000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 56° 0.331', W 3° 30.993'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds56° 0' 19.86" N, 3° 30' 59.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9 Nosirrom Terrace, Blackness EH49 7NQ, GB
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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