Historic Scotland

Opening times

Cadzow Castle is open year-round. Only its exterior can be viewed.

 

Overview

Discover the hidden ‘castle in the woods’ – a late-medieval stronghold among ancient trees above a deep gorge.

Cadzow Castle, in ruins now, shows the influence of artillery warfare in the late medieval period. It was built by the powerful Hamilton family, above their stronghold in the valley. There aren’t many historical references to the site but architectural features like its ‘dumb-bell’ and ‘wide-mouthed’ gun loops place construction between 1475 and 1550.

Cadzow Castle is a place of last resort built by the Hamiltons, the Scottish royal dynasty that never was. Once one of the greatest noble houses in Scotland, the Hamiltons’ allegiance to Mary Queen of Scots brought about their downfall.

Due to its ruined state, only the exterior of Cadzow Castle can be viewed.