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Floors Castle, Scottish Borders

Location: Kelso, TD5 7RN (map and directions)

The fairytale-like Floors Castle is located on the edge of the town of Kelso, 25 miles south-west of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Floors overlooks the River Tweed on the opposite riverbank to Roxburgh Castle, which was once the strongest fortress along the former Scottish-English border, and the location where King James II was killed in 1460.

Floors Castle, Scottish Borders copyright Kurpfalzbilder
Floors Castle © Kurpfalzbilder

History of Floors Castle

Built in 1721, Floors Castle was constructed for the 1st Duke of Roxburgh in the form of a symmetrical Georgian country house, and lacks all defensive capabilities (though it most likely had at least a tower at the time it was built). Floors was remodelled from 1837-1847 by Scotlandís leading architect at the time, William Playfair, as commissioned by the 6th Duke of Roxburgh. Playfairís inspiration for the updated design is said to have come from the style of Heriotís Hospital in Edinburgh.

While the outside of the castle is romantic with its roofscape of turrets, pinnacles and cupolas, the interior of this now category A listed building is filled with fine porcelain, ceramics, English furniture, paintings by Walter Sickert and Henri Matisse and the rest of the art collection of American heiress May Goelet, who married the 8th Duke of Roxburgh in the early 20th century. Floors Castle is the largest inhabited house in Scotland.

Floors Castle, Scottish Borders copyright Kurpfalzbilder
Floors Castle © Kurpfalzbilder

Floors Castle is also the setting of a beautifully colourful walled garden and woodland called the Star Plantation Woodland. The Millennium Parterre was built by the current Duke and Duchess, and is designed in traditional French style.

Map and directions

The site is privately owned by the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh and is open to the public daily from Easter to October 11:00-5:00pm.

View Floors Castle in a larger map

Other castles in Scottish Borders

Bullet Point Ayton Castle
Bullet Point Branxholme Castle
Bullet Point Cessford Castle
Bullet Point Dryhope Tower
Bullet Point Duns Castle
Bullet Point Fast Castle
Bullet Point Fatlips Castle
Bullet Point Ferniehirst Castle
Bullet Point Floors Castle
Bullet Point Greenknowe Tower
Bullet Point Hermitage Castle
Bullet Point Hume Castle
Bullet Point Kirkhope Tower
Bullet Point Neidpath Castle
Bullet Point Nether Horsburgh Castle
Bullet Point Newark Castle
Bullet Point Nisbet House
Bullet Point Smailholm Tower
Bullet Point Thirlestane Castle
Bullet Point Traquair House
Bullet Point Venlaw Castle
Bullet Point Wedderburn Castle

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