Morton Castle is situated on the Queensberry
Estate in southern Scotland, 20 miles north of
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
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Morton Castle is situated in a quiet, remote,
scenic area, that can be found at the end of a single
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 Independence.
1200s late - a castle had been completed on this
high spot with marshland on the north, east, and
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 Morton.
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
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 John
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 Historic
The area has a scenic nature walk.