It’s a 16th-century Scottish fortress which once thrived amid war, attack and treason, but now parts of Craignethan Castle have been abandoned because of a somewhat different invader – a “very angry badger”.
Historic Scotland was forced to shut tunnels which are popular with the public after staff discovered the unexpected guest.
“If you’re heading to #CraignethanCastle over the next few days you might find the Cellar Tunnel closed due to the presence of a very angry badger,” the heritage organisation tweeted. “We’re trying to entice it out with cat food and send it home.”
It did not elaborate on why the badger was angry, but it is thought the animal may live in surrounding woodland and became lost.
Staff first spotted some dug-out earth and saw the badger after closer inspection. They have been trying to lure it out with cat food and honey ever since.
The animal is said to have caused a mess, digging up through loose soil into stonework.
The castle, managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which was built around 1530, has a tower house, ramparts and a caponier (a stone-vaulted shooting gallery).
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It saw action during Battle of Langside in 1568 and the Marian civil war of 1568-73.
“The tunnel was closed around midday on 12 April after our site staff discovered a badger had made itself at home,” a spokesperson for HES said. “The castle is surrounded by woodland and we believe the badger may have become lost.
“Staff have been in contact with local wildlife authorities and have tried to lure the badger out with cat food and honey.”
The rest of the castle remains open.