1453 - King James II took control of
Blackness Castle and Crichton lands. One of the
Royals main residences was Linlithgow
Palace 4 miles inland.
Late 1400s - the Royals began using the
Castle as a State Prison, with many of the
first prisoners being involved in the
Reformation, when Scotland was ending Christian
Catholicism in favour of Christian
Other prisoners were from disputes between
Scotland and England during the years of
Mary Queen of
Scots from the 1540s. King Henry VIII of
England wanted to unify Scotland and England by
having Mary mary his son Edward.
Battles with England over Mary continued
until Mary was executed in England in 1587.
1534 - 1540 - Blackness Castle
fortifications were extended using advanced
innovations of the time.
1650 - during the English Civil War, Oliver
Cromwell's Army besieged Blackness when they
invaded Scotland. Bombardment from land and sea
led to the defenders of the Castle surrendering
and the Castle being abandoned.
1667 - Blackness Castle was repaired to
serve again as a Prison, holding a number of
Covenanters, Scots that rebelled against the
King's interference in Scotland's Church
1707 - the Union of Scotland and England led
to Blackness Castle being used as one of four
Scottish Fortresses of the British Army, along
with Stirling Castle, Dumbarton
Castle, and Edinburgh Castle.
1759 to 1815 - Blackness Castle was used to
hold French Prisoners during a series of
conflicts such as the Seven Years'
War and Napoleonic
1868 - the cast-iron Pier was built with a
Gate and Drawbridge, one of the last of its
kind to be built in Britain.
1870 - Blackness Castle was used as an
Ammunition Depot for central Scotland. The
Castle was altered at this time, including the
building of Barracks that can be seen just
inside the main entrance.
1919 - after World War One, the Castle was
run by the Office of Works that oversee the
building and maintenance of Royal
1926 - 1935 - Blackness Castle was restored
to its pre 1800s condition.
Today - Blackness Castle is run by Historic
Environment Scotland, open to the public most
days of the year, with a small entrance