Cadzow is one of these places where the intervening centuries have left a considerable mark. Perhaps this is not even so obvious to the casual visitor (including myself), but I think the people who originally built this place must notice a few things (even leaving the state of the fort aside). Namely, I wonder how much the Avon has eaten away at its’ constricting walls, cutting into the base of the valley.
And, yet, or maybe because of these very same forces, this place is a mighty sight. Having walked as much around the castle as possible, the bridge leading up to it presents the best and most magical view, especially as when one gets across to the other bank, massive fences and buttresses are shoring up the masonry.
Indeed, any sort of casual access to get close to the real stonework is prohibited and therefore it’s also very difficult to get a real sense of what being in that castle would have looked or felt like. Therefore, climbing around the walls in the bush makes all the more sense though one should be careful not to fall victim to the Avon’s timeless grasp.
I want to go back once the conservation work is finished: both the elevations which the occupants of the castle would have been able to use to guard themselves as well as the real sense of what the river looked like from it are unachievable from the areas we can access. Yet, I’m uncertain whether it’s a realistic assumption to think this place will ever be accessible to the public again as the works there seemed to have stopped a long time ago, and are perhaps going to stay in this state for a while. We’ll see.
I didn’t much explore the adjoining Chatelherault site though no doubt that would be worth a look as well. There was a bit of a museum in there that gave background on the local castles (including Bothwell and Craignethan).