My husband and I went to Blackness Castle twice, as the first time it wasn’t opened to the public. On the first day we had amazing weather, on the second day it was cloudy and the pictures aren’t as beautiful as the first ones. Blackness castle is one of the filming locations of Outlander, but it’s a castle has its own interesting history.
The castle is named “the ship that never sailed” due to its shape. Built in the 15th century as a royal castle, it become during the time, a garrison fortress, a state prison and an ammunition depot in 19th century. After WWI, the castle was decommissioned and made into a visitor attraction.
During the reign of the English Henry VIII, James V transformed the castle into a garrison fortress. It was successful until the 17th century, when 1650 when Oliver Cromwell’s heavy guns devastated the defences. 20 years later the castle was a state prison. Some of the prisoners were treated more as quests, they had their quarters, their families and a few servants too. During the day they were able to walk in the gardens and do their business, but confined in their rooms at night and unable to leave.
This is how the Great Hall, created during the 1540s. James IV is the only monarch to visit Blackness more than once. The great fireplace was reduced.
The castle has lots of narrow corridors and beautiful doors, it’s a delight to explore it. It’s more compact, similar to a fortress. It must have been so beautiful in its heyday.
The courtyard has a lot of rocks and edges. It must be a nightmare to walk on these rocks after a rain when they are slippery. Even so, I had a strange peaceful feeling while I was visiting the castle. Maybe the size makes it more like a home than a cold castle.
Other movies were filmed there as well, like Ivanhoe and Hamlet. In Outlander, Blackness castle was filmed as Fort William, the headquarters of Jack Randall. The scene of Jamie’s incarceration was filmed here.
One of the castle’s entrances leads to a cast-iron pier that was constructed in Victorian times. There is a drawbridge and a beautiful bridge to the pier.
I finish with a picture from the first day, the bright and sunny day. It’s a shame the following day wasn’t as sunny. I enjoyed visiting the castle a lot, as the views are stunning and the place is beautiful and remote. I would visit it again, hopefully on a beautiful day.