Ardsmuir Prison is introduced in Outlander Season 3 but does come back up in Season 6. Is the prison a real location? Where is it based on?
For seven years after Culloden, Jamie managed to hide in a cave. Eventually, he knew that he would have to turn himself in. He did it to make sure the local people (in the books) and his family (in the show) got the bounty money on his head. After that, he was sent to Ardsmuir Prison.
There’s where we find him in Outlander Season 3 when he meets Lord John Grey. We also get to see him there again in Outlander Season 6 when we find out the story between Jamie and Tom Christie.
Now the question for fans is whether this location is one of the real ones from history. Diana Gabaldon certainly wove a lot of real locations and stories into the main story, but what about Ardsmuir Prison?
Ardsmuir Prison is not a real Outlander location
There is some bad news for those who want to take a visit to the real location. Ardsmuir Prison is not real. It was not a fortress opened up to manage the Jacobites and eventually closed down.
Craigmillar Castle is used for the location in the TV series. It’s located just outside of Edinburgh, built by the Preston family of Craigmillar between the 14th and 16th centuries. It’s now a location preserved by Historic Environment Scotland, and you can visit it when you’re in the country.
There is some real history connected to the castle. This is where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to her son James, who would eventually become James VI of Scotland and James I of England.
There were prisons around Scotland after Culloden. The storyline of Jamie being sent there instead of immediately being executed for treason is based on real things that happened after the initial executions on Culloden Moor.