The present Oxenfoord Castle is mainly the work of Robert Adam in the 1780s, and William Burn in 1840, but at its core is the old L-plan tower house of Nether Cranston which belonged to the Makgill family.
The estate was owned by the Makgills by the 16th century and it may have been they who were responsible for building a tower house which consisted of four storeys rising to a height of 19 metres above vaulted basements. In 1549 the English burnt “the Coittes, Nather Cranstoun, Cowslane and Litill Prestoun.”
James Makgill was elevated to the peerage as Viscount of Oxfuird in 1651. Later in the 17th century his daughter, Elizabeth Makgill, married her neighbour Sir Patrick Hamilton of Litill Prestoun, brother of Sir Thomas Hamilton, 1st Earl of Haddington.
Now owned by the Dalrymple family, it came into their hands when the Dalrymples and Makgills inter-married in the 18th century, the Makgills holding the title Viscount of Oxfuird (or Oxenfoord).
In the early 20th century the castle was used as a girls’ boarding school, but it is now run as a multi-functional events centre, hosting weddings, corporate events and private parties.
Alternative names for Oxenfoord Castle
Cranston Riddell; Cranston-Ridel; Cranston; Cranstoun Riddell; Nather Cranstoun; Nether Cranston; Oxenford Castle