Neidpath Castle

Mary, Queen of Scots Home Page

Neidpath Castle lies about a mile west of Peebles in the Borders. It was built in the 14th century by Sir William de Haya, Sheriff of Peebles, replacing an earlier castle which belonged to the Fraser family. The Hays owned the castle until 1686, when it was sold to the Duke of Queensberry, who gave it to his son, the Earl of March. In the 16th century, Neidpath was known as "Jedderfield". Today, it is privately owned by the Earl of Wemyss but is sometimes open to the public, and it can be hired for functions.
Neidpath Castle from the carpark Neidpath Castle from the main driveway
The Hays were royalists and Neidpath withstood Cromwell's forces longer than any other castle in the South of Scotland. However, Cromwell's cannons succeeded in the end and caused much damage to the castle, as they did to so many other historical properties. Although it was partially repaired, the Duke of Queensberry allowed the castle and its gardens to fall into ruin, and the upper part of the wing of the tower had collapsed by 1790. Today, only the main block and south range remain roofed. The castle has been a source of inspiration for the 19th century authors Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth, and some of the scenes in films The Bruce, Merlin and Joan of Arc were shot here.

Click here to see a reconstruction of the castle.

Neidpath's massive tower View from the top over the river Tweed
In the summer, you would be forgiven for missing Neidpath if you happen to drive past, as it is almost hidden from sight by lush vegetation. It lies in a tranquil little valley with splendid views and the meandering Tweed lower down. Mary, Queen of Scots visited this castle in July 1563 during her third progress through her realm.
Looking over the entrance gateway Looking over the entrance gateway, surrounding countryside and the Tweed

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