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Cadzow Castle is the hidden ‘castle in the woods’ in Hamilton. This late-medieval stronghold now stands as a ruin among ancient trees above a deep gorge.

In 1801, Walter Scott spent Christmas at Hamilton Palace and walked to the nearby ruins of Cadzow Castle. 
 
His lament for the castle's decline brought the castle ruins into the public eye.

Listen to 'Faded Fame'

Walter Scott’s lament for Cadzow Castle, where the ‘mirth and music’ of former days have been replaced by the river’s roar.

Read 'Faded Fame'

When princely Hamilton’s abode
Ennobled Cadyow’s Gothic towers,
The song went round, the goblet flow’d,
And revel sped the laughing hours.

Then, thrilling to the harp’s gay sound,
So sweetly rung each vaulted wall,
And echoed light the dancer’s bound,
As mirth and music cheer’d the hall.

But Cadyow’s towers, in ruins laid,
And vaults, by ivy mantled o’er,
Thrill to the music of the shade,
Or echo Evan’s hoarser roar.

Yet still, of Cadyow’s faded fame,
You bid me tell a minstrel tale,
And tune my harp, of Border frame,
On the wild banks of Evandale.

Sir Walter Scott - Celebrating 250 Years

In 2021-22, Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of one of its most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott. This online exhibition and audio trail of his legacies is part of the celebrations.

'Faded Fame' has been performed by actor Kirsty Stuart for Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland. You may have seen Kirsty in TV productions of Call the Midwife, Shetland or Outlander.