A watercolour by an unknown artist working for the Maxwell family, depicting the ruins of Crookston Castle c 1830.
Crookston Castle was built c 1400 on a hilltop. There are steep slopes on three sides and a sharp drop to the Levern Water on the northern side, providing excellent natural defences. The castle was built within ring-work defences constructed for an earlier timber building. It consists of a large rectangular central block (60 feet by 40 feet) with strong walls up to 13 feet thick and a tower at each corner. There is only one entrance to the castle, defended by two doors, a portcullis and machiolations (downward openings through which missiles, boiling water and oil and other offensive materials could be dropped on attacking forces).
The castle was besieged in 1488 after its holder, the Earl of Lennox, rebelled against King James IV. The King brought up Mons Meg, his famous cannon, and three of the four towers were destroyed in the bombardment. The castle was besieged again in 1544 and abandoned c 1600 to fall into ruins.
Reproduced with the permission of the National Trust for Scotland
cannons, castles, Crookston Castle, landscapes, Mons Meg, Pollok Estate, ring-works, ruins, sieges, watercolours