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The Stewarts’ stronghold

The castle might have originated as one of a string of ringworks created by Walter fitzAlan in the mid-1100s. The ruin we see today was built in the early 1400s, likely by Sir Alexander Stewart, lord of Crookston from 1374 to 1406.

Through marriage, the Stewarts became earls of Lennox, and they became part of an uprising against James IV in 1489. The royal gun train – possibly including the mighty Mons Meg – was brought from Edinburgh Castle to Crookston, and it’s possible the two western towers were lost in this siege.

The castle’s north-eastern tower was used as an aircraft watch tower during the Clydeside blitz during World War II.

Unique layout

The castle’s arrangement is near-unique in Scotland. Its central tower is surrounded by four square corner towers. It was carefully planned: the public rooms were located in the central block, while the corner towers contained accommodation expected in a conventional tower house, including:

  • stores
  • a kitchen
  • a prison
  • bed-chambers
  • servants’ quarters
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