is a ruined medieval castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. The lands of
Craigmillar were granted to the monks of Dunfermline Abbey by
King David I in the 12th century. The Preston family were first
granted land in the area by King David II in 1342 and held 2/3
of the estate. In a further grant of 1374, King Robert II gave
the remaining lands of Craigmillar to Sir Simon de Preston,
Sheriff of Midlothian. It was Simon's son, Simon Preston, or his
grandson, Sir George Preston, who began work on the tower house
which now forms the core of the castle. This was in place by
1425, when a charter was sealed at Craigmillar by Sir John
Preston. The courtyard wall was probably added by Sir William
Preston (d. 1453), who had travelled in France, and drew on
continental inspiration for his new work. He also brought back
the arm of Saint Giles, which he presented to the High Kirk of
Edinburgh, where the Preston Aisle is named for him. In the late
1470s, John Stewart, Earl of Mar, brother of King James III was
held prisoner at Craigmillar, accused of practicing witchcraft
against the King. He later died in suspicious circumstances.
In 1660, the
castle was sold to Sir John Gilmour, Lord President of the Court
of Session, who made further alterations. The Gilmours left
Craigmillar in the 18th century, and the castle fell into ruin.
It is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland as a
Castle is best known for its association with Mary, Queen of
Scots. Following an illness after the birth of her son, the
future James VI, Mary arrived at Craigmillar on 20 November 1566
to convalesce. Before she left on 7 December 1566, a pact known
as the "Craigmillar Bond" was made, with or without her
knowledge, to dispose of her husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Scotland. The
central tower house, or keep, is surrounded by a 15th-century
courtyard wall with "particularly fine"defensive features.
Within this are additional ranges, and the whole is enclosed by
an outer courtyard wall containing a chapel and a doocot.