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Sanquhar Castle


Sanquhar castle is now a gaunt ruin visible from the West Coast main line from Scotland to England. The castle was constructed in the 13th century and belonged to the Crichton family from the 14th century, eventually being abandoned to the elements in the late 17th century.

Most of the castle legends and ghost stories date to when the castle was owned by Robert Crichton, remembered in local lore as a cruel tyrant. One ghost is that of Marion of Delpeddar who walks the castle as a beautiful white lady, with a long flowing dress and hair. Marrion vanished at the end of the 16th century, and is thought to have been murdered by Robert. In 1875 the skeleton of a girl was found in the castle facing down in a pit, attracting rumours that this was the body of Marion.

Another ghost said to haunt the castle was that of a man called John Wilson, who, tradition suggests, was an innocent pawn in a disagreement between local lords. At the end of the 16th century there was a feud between Sir Thomas Kilpatrick and Douglas of Drumlanrig, who was a friend of the then Lord of Sanquhar Robert Crichton. John Wilson was a servant of Thomas Kilpatrick and was thrown in jail accused of a crime he did not commit by Crichton to spite his master. After the feud escalated Crichton had the innocent man hanged. The ghost was said to haunt the castle in indignation at his barbaric treatment.

Another skeleton is alleged to have been discovered at the castle: that of a headless man under the castle vaults during the first half of the 19th century. Perhaps the body of another unfortunate victim of Robert Crichton.


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