Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Lost in the post - Granton Castle

Dating from the 16th century Granton Castle once commanded a wonderful panorama of the River Forth at Edinburgh's north shore.

Granton Castle and its garden photographed circa.1904

To protect Granton Castle the Ministry of Works scheduled the monument in 1920. This was to be confirmed by letter – what possibly could go wrong? Well, no account was taken for human error – the letter was sent to the wrong address!

By the time the Ministry became aware of their blunder – the following year – it was too late. Granton Castle had been completely demolished!

In true civil service practice all was ‘filed and forgotten’, that is, until 2016 when the Friends of Granton Castle Walled Garden uncovered the facts of the castle's demise in the Registers of Scotland.

The record which revealed how Granton Castle ended up being demolished and not protected should have been ‘shredded’ but a civil servant had attached a hand written note to the file stating ‘someone might want to read this someday’.

LEFT: Granton Castle's Dovecot
RIGHT: All that remains of Granton Castle – a fragment of the courtyard wall

After years of campaigning the Friends have gained possession of the walled garden and are working on a 5-10 year plan to open it to the public. You can learn more about their campaign on the Friends of Granton Castle Walled Garden Facebook page.

Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.

Added: 22 Jul 2021 Updated: 13 Oct 2023
Related articles (20)
Our corporate members...

Visit our Skills and Trades Section