Sanquhar Castle, Dumfries, Scotland

sanquhar castle, dumfries, scotlandSanquhar Castle was built in the 13th century but today stands only as a ruin dominated by a crumbling 4 storey tower A ruined hall block and gateway passage and semicircular tower also still remain.

The lands were originally the property of the Ross family, but passed by means of marriage to the Crichton family during the 14th century.

The Crichtons were created Earls of Dumfries in 1633 AD, but then in 1639 sold the property on to Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig (later Duke of Queensberry).

The 1st Duke constructed a new castle at Drumlanrig, but after staying in it only one night, decided he preferred Sanquhar and moved back there. The family moved to Drumlanrig after the first Duke's death, and Sanquhar was then left to fall into ruin. In the latter part of the 19th century, the 3rd Marquis of Bute began the process of rebuilding Sanquhar Castle but this was halted when he died in 1900. Since then, the castle has been left to crumble away to the ruins which can be seen today.

Two ghosts are said to haunt the castle ruins. One is a mysterious "White lady", a beautiful young woman with long, pale tresses. It is generally thought that she is the ghost of Marion of Dalpeddar, who disappeared under suspicious circumstances in the 1590's possibly having been murdered by one Lord Robert Crichton. A woman's skeleton was discovered in a pit during excavations in the 1870s which might support this story. The other ghost is said to be that of John Wilson.

His story is as follows: John Wilson unfortunately got involved in a dispute during the late 1590s between Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, John's master, and Douglas of Drumlanrig who was a friend of Robert Crichton, Lord Sanquhar and Sheriff of Nithsdale. It was probably out of sheer spite and vindictiveness against Wilsons master that Crichton falsely accused John Wilson of trumped up crimes and had him locked up in jail.

Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of course protested Wilson's innocence but Crichton reacted in the extreme by having Wilson hanged. It is said that the ghost of John Wilson haunts the ruins of Sanquhar Castle and manifests itself by rattling its chains and moaning and groaning as an eternal reminder of the cruelty and barbarism of the castles former owner.