Crichton Castle stands in a secluded rural setting overlooking the River Tyne. It was constructed in several distinct phases over a 200 year period. The earliest part is a tower house built by John de Crichton at the end of the 14th century. It was three stories high with a vaulted basement that contained a kitchen and pit-prison with a hall and private chambers above. The top story was removed in a later remodeling of the castle.
In the mid 15th century, William Crichton, a powerful man who held the office of Chancellor, developed the castle into a residence more suitable for a man of his high standing. He incorporated the tower house into a range of buildings around a square courtyard. William spent most of his life in conflict with the Black Douglases and played his part in the infamous ‘Black Dinner’ in Edinburgh Castle at which the Sixth Earl of Douglas and his brother were lured to their death. In 1444, Sir John Forrester of Corstorphine, one of the Earl of Douglas’s aides, marched on Crichton and destroyed the castle.
In 1484 the estates and offices of the Crichton family were forfeited after the third Lord Crichton was implicated in a conspiracy against the king. The estate of Crichton was bestowed upon Sir John Ramsey of Bothw
ell, later made Lord Bothwell and Treasurer of Scotland. He fled to England after the defeat of his king at the battle of Sauchieburn in 1488. The now vacant Lordships of Crichton and Bothwell were combined to create the Earldom of Bothwell that was first granted to Sir Patrick Hepburn.
The ghost of a horseman has been seen riding up to the castle and through the original entrance, which has long since been blocked with stone. Some claim the phantom horseman is none other than Sir William Crichton. It also rumored that the spirit of Sir William Crichton has been seen leaving the stables across from Crichton Castle and entering the castle tower on the anniversary of his death.
Myself and my team investigated this location a couple of years ago, we didn’t find anything really to report apart from a member of the team getting a stone thrown at them when they were walking round the perimeter of the castle. We tried to work out how it naturally happened but to this date, we can’t explain.
(All pictures were taken during the day when looking over the location by the team).