Sanquhar Castle, Dumfriesshire
~ History ~
1296 ~ Thomas de Crichton swears fealty to King Edward I in the Ragman Roll.
1300s ~ William Crichton, second son to Thomas Crichton, to further expand their growing wealth and influence, is married to Isabel de Ross, heiress to the barony of Sanquhar.
1380's ~ A courtyard castle is built at Sanquhar.
1400 ~ A hall block and other apartments are added to the castle.
1440 ~ William Crichton, Chancellor of Scotland to the boy King James II, arranges a meeting with their rivals, the powerful Douglas's, at Edinburgh Castle. With the young king present, Crichton and his accomplice Livingston, murder the 6th Earl of Douglas and his younger brother in a notorious evening that would become known as the Black Dinner. The Douglas's lay siege to the castle. Crichton perceiving the danger surrenders the castle to the King, who in turn is raised to the title of Lord Crichton. The fall of the Black Douglas's sees the Crichton fortunes and estates grow further still.
1487 ~ The Crichton's are created Lords of Sanquhar by King James III of Scotland.
1597 ~ Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick sends one of his tenants John Wilson to deliver a message to Robert Crichton. Outranged by the content of the letter Robert has John Wilson imprisoned.
The Privy Council orders that Wilson should be released forthwith, but instead Crichton hangs the poor man.
1612 ~ Robert Crichton is convicted and executed for murder, albeit not for the murder of John Wilson which goes unpunished.
1617 ~ William Crichton entertains King James VI at Sanquhar castle.
1633 ~ King Charles I of England awards William Crichton with the title of Earl of Dumfries.
1639 ~ The barony is sold to Sir William Douglas.
1700 ~ Following Sir William's death his son transfers his seat to his new mansion at Drumlanrig, leaving Sanquhar to decay.
Sanquhar Castle is situated near a housing estate surrounded by fencing since it has been deemed as too unsafe, which is a real shame.
You can approach the castle from the housing estate along a well-used footpath popular with dog walkers.
Approaching the ruin, you can see it would have been quite an impressive castle in its hey-day overlooking the river and surrounding countryside it would have dominated.