Morton Castle is situated on the Queensberry
Estate in southern Scotland, 20 miles north of
Dumfries off the A76 road, 4 miles
north of the town of Thornhill, 3 miles east of the
larger Drumlanrig Castle.
The castle is open for visits at all times
free of charge.
Morton Castle is situated in a quiet,
remote, scenic area, that can be found at the
end of a single lane road.
1200s - these lands were held by Thomas
Randolph, later the first Earl of Moray,
friend of Robert the Bruce that helped Bruce
become king of Scotland during the Wars of
1200s late - a castle had been completed on
this high spot with marshland on the north,
east, and south sides.
1357 - the Treaty of
Berwick to release king David II of
Scotland, son of Robert the Bruce, from the
Tower of London, forced the Scots to destroy
thirteen castles in Nithsdale, including
1400s - the Earls of March gained control of
these lands and rebuilt the castle.
1400s mid - James II of Scotland awarded
these lands to James Douglas, who became the
Earl of Morton.
1580 - the fourth earl of Morton was
executed after being accused of playing a part
in the murder of Lord Darnley,
husband of Mary Queen of Scots.
Morton Castle and earldom was then passed to
1588 - a fall out between James VI and the
Catholic Maxwell's led to Morton Castle being
burned and returned to the Douglas family.
1600s - the castle was owned by William
Douglas, first Earl of Queensberry, of the
larger Drumlanrig Castle 3 miles west.
Morton Castle was probably used as a hunting
lodge from that time.
1700s mid - a dam was constructed to flood
the marshland to create an artificial loch.
1700s - much of the stone from the castle
was taken for other buildings in the area.
2000s - Morton Castle is the property of the
Duke of Buccleuch, although cared for by
The area has a scenic nature walk.