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Craignethan Castle

Craignethan Castle

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1867

Shelfmark: 1782.a.12

Item number: 7

Length: 13.1

Width: 17.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

“Craignethan Castle is situated about a mile distant from the Clyde, on a high steep promontory, round the base of which the river Nethan flows through a deep picturesque and richly wooded valley. The spectator is at once struck with the perfect unity and completeness of the design which these ruins display. The correct taste and skill of the architect excite surprise. It is obvious that Craignethan was not like most ancient castles, the productions of different ages and of a variety of lords adding strength to strength and tower to tower, as the wealth and importance of the family increased, but that the whole has been erected at once, under the inspection of one who had an eye to beauty as well as strength.

The castle was erected early in the sixteenth century by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, a natural son of the first Earl of Arran. He was appointed cup bearer to James V., steward of the royal household, and superintendent of the royal palaces and castles. Under his direction, the two palaces of Falkland and Linlithgow were erected, monuments which, in part, still exist of the national taste of that age. The castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, Rothesay, &c., were either partly rebuilt or adorned by his genius. Sir James’ architectural talents thus account for the superior beauty of his own castle of Craignethan.”

Descriptive letterpress, from 'Photographs of the Clyde'

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