Carberry Hill

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

The Carberry Hill monument is not the easiest landmark to find. Access is either from the road through a narrow gateway in the wall, now marked by a small plaque laid here in 2004 by the Marie Stuart Society, or further down, via a pleasant 1km walk through the Carberry Woodlands (Buccleugh Estates). The inscription on the monument reads: "M.R. 1567 At this spot Mary Queen of Scots after the escape of Bothwell mounted her horse and surrendered herself to the Confederate Lords 15 June 1567".
Carberry Hill Monument The monument from the side
On the way back through the woodlands is an information panel which tells us the story of that fateful day.
"THE SURRENDER OF MARY 15TH JUNE 1567 - Mary, Queen of Scots married the Earl of Bothwell, a union unpopular with the conferate Lords of Scotland. Both he and Mary had been implicated in the murder of her first [should say "second"!!!] husband, Lord Darnley, and because of religious and political intrigue, the Lords tried to break Bothwell's power over the Queen. Mary and Bothwell set out from Dunbar with their army and met the army of the confederate Lords led by Kirkaldy of Grange at Carberry Hill on June 15th 1567. Mary was forced or persuaded under promise of Bothwell's safe conduct to surrender herself to the Lords, while he retreated to Dunbar and eventually to exile. Mary was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and later in Lochleven. Eventually she was executed by her cousin Elizabeth of England, leaving her infant son (of Lord Darnley) to become her heir to the Realm.
A snowy view of the top of Carberry Hill Left-hand view of Carberry Hill with the Firth of Forth in the distance
Right on the other side of the old stone wall which stands behind the monument, is Carberry Hill itself, where we can imagine the two sides taunting each other on that hot June day. In early wintry March, it is a rather different scene. "The 15 day being sonneday, the armies came within view. The one stood upone Carberry Hills, with 4 regiments of shouldiours, and six field-pieces of brasse: the uther armey stoode over against it, messingers going betwixt them all day till neir night; dureing which parley the Duke fled secretly to Dunbar, and the Queine came and randred herself prisoner to ye Lordis, quho convoyed her to Edinburghe to the Provost's Lodgeing for yat night; Sr. Symeon Prestone of Craigmillar being Provost for ye time." (From the diary of Birrel).
A clearing in the Carberry Woodlands Commemorative plaque to former Marie Stuart Society member

Next to the Carberry Hill monument on the ground, is a plaque funded by a member of the Marie Stuart Society in honour of a friend, also a former member. When in season, it is enhanced by a circle of primroses. It reads: "Primroses Planted In Memory of Dawn Cherrill Life-long admirer of Mary Queen of Scots and member of THE MARIE STUART SOCIETY 2004".

Click here to see a contemporary representation of the "Battle of Carberry".

Carberry Hill is located about 2 miles outside of Musselburgh in the village of Carberry. Drive past "Carberry Tower" until you come to an opening in the wall, where you will find a cluster of houses and a former candle-making shop. There is the path leading to the Carberry Woodlands. The shorter path to the monument is accessed by driving further up the road until you come to a set of traffic lights. Turn left and the gateway is on the left a little further up that road. There is unfortunately nowhere to park in the vicinity.

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