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Neidpath Castle, Scottish Borders

Location: Peebles, EH45 8NW (map and directions)

The 14th-century Neidpath Castle is an L-plan tower house which overlooks the River Tweed about one mile west of Peebles. The romantic castle contains a vaulted first-floor hall, a pit dungeon, eleven-foot thick walls, the remains of a partly-walled garden, and Queen Mary’s room. The Great Hall has beautiful batiks which depict the life of Mary Queen of Scots.

Neidpath Castle, Scottish Borders copyright Gordon Brown
Neidpath Castle © Gordon Brown

History of Neidpath Castle

While an early castle was built here by Sir Simon Fraser around 1263, the Hay family acquired the land through marriage to a Fraser heiress in the early 14th century, at which point Neidpath Castle was constructed.

The Hay family married the daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh Gifford, thereby acquiring nearby Yester Castle, which subsequently became the family seat. Neidpath continued to be used, however, and was visited by Mary Queen of Scots in 1563 and her son James VI in 1587.

Neidpath saw its share of battle beginning in 1645, when the castle was garrisoned against the Royalists. During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland five years later, Neidpath was again attacked. At this time the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery. During the 1660s, the castle was remodelled by the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale, before he was forced to declare bankruptcy and sell Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensbury in 1686.

Neidpath Castle, Scottish Borders copyright West Lothian
Neidpath Castle © West Lothian

Douglas gave the castle to his son, William Douglas, in 1693, and it was his son who made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. Eventually the 3rd Duke of Queensbury let Neidpath to tenants, including historian Adam Ferguson. By 1790 the upper storeys of the wing had collapsed.

In 1810, the castle was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, whose family still own the property today. The Earl takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from the ownership of this castle.

Map and directions

Opening times at Neidpath vary.

View Neidpath Castle in a larger map

Other castles in Scottish Borders

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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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