About Cadzow Castle

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Cadzow Castle is located just outside Hamilton, Scotland. Excavations and restorations are currently going on at the castle. We visited Cadzow Castle in 1998 and document here what we saw.


“The obscure nature of the castle belies the important role it played in the political events following the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots in 1567.”

— video by James Marshall and his drone quadrocopter.


The ruins of Cadzow Castle are located just outside the city of Hamilton, just south-east of Glasgow, Scotland. A number of the original walls still stand, though many are overgrown by grasses and vines.

The castle is under the care of “Historic Scotland”, a preservation society that looks after a number of castles in Scotland.

You can find the castle ruins, as well as the Cadzow Oaks (see How the Hamiltons came to own the Barony of Cadzow lands), on the grounds of Chatelherault, the palacial hunting lodge commissioned by the 5th Duke of Hamilton in the 1700s. A simple walking tour is enough for you to see all these sights.

The castle ruins are situated high on a bank of a river. As you walk towards the castle across the Duke’s bridge, you can see its facade high on a cliff-top. You can also circle round behind the castle to see what is left of the interior (more pictures further down this page). The ruins are fenced off so that you can only see them from about 10 feet away. Continuing away from the castle, the path leads to the Cadzow Oaks.

From the information we saw on our summer 1998 tour, there appears to have been two Cadzow castles at different times: one prior to the Hamilton’s takeover of the Barony of Cadzow lands, and the second afterwards. It is the ruins of second castle that are on display today. The first castle is nothing more than a mound left in the ground (which we did not see).


There are lots of web sites about Cadzow Castle. Here are some of the more substantial ones.

Some details on Cadzow Castle from the Wikipedia site.

… and from the undiscovered Scotland site.

Historic Environment Scotland, with details about visiting the castle. More…

Some more recent pictures of Cadzow Castle excavations . More…

And the Daily Record report on finding the “lost” village of Cadzow (with VIDEO).  More…