Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Tonight, I am focusing on Craigmillar Castle which lies about five miles south of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Like many other British castles, Craigmillar evolved over many hundreds of years. It was incepted as a free-standing Tower House, probably in the 14th century. For the first 250 years of its existence, Craigmillar was the property of the Preston family. In 1660 it was acquired by Sir John Gilmour and was eventually abandoned (by the Gilmours)  in the late 18th century. Craigmillar’s most famous guest was Mary, Queen of Scots who visited in 1563 and again in 1566.

The lairds who built the castle were the de Prestons who derived their surname from their estate at Preston in East Lothian which is nearby.

Key aspects of Craigmillar Castle are:

  • The Tower House
  • The Laird’s Hall
  • ‘Queen Mary’s Room’
  • The East Range
  • The West Range
  • Courtyards and Gardens including a P shaped fish pond.

Interior, Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

View north from battlements, towards Edinburgh and Arthur’s Seat

Drawing Room at Craigmillar Castle


Battlements at Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

Window Seat

Gilmour Armorial Panel. Three quill pens signify Sir John Gilmour’s position as president of the Court of Session.

Outer Courtyard, Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

P (for Preston) shaped Fish Pond at Craigmillar Castle