Johnstone Castle – Johnstone, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Johnstone Castle

A 16th-century castle unexpectedly nestled within a post-war housing development.  


Johnstone Castle isn’t in the usual setting for such an old, storied building. You won’t find any snow-capped mountains or black woodland here. Instead, the remains of this 16th-century castle are surrounded by ordinary terraced homes, with the castle forming the center point of a post-war housing development.

The castle itself originally belonged to the Laird of Houston. In time, it passed through the hands of Archbishops and other nobility. By coincidence, the listed building played host to a number of Polish guests over the years. First was famed composer Fredric Chopin, who stayed as a guest in the castle in 1848. Less than 100 years later, Polish soldiers were billeted on the grounds during the Second World War. Afterward, it saw service as a POW camp.

Brought into private ownership and refurbished in 2001, Johnstone Castle is now a private dwelling, but visitors can read the plaques and information boards on the street outside.

Know Before You Go

There's no entry to the castle itself, but visitors can walk the perimeter of the grounds where there are some plaques and information boards to read.

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