Places to Visit in Scotland
- Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle

Unlike a number of ruined castles, here is one which, despite its long history, including an association with Mary Queen of Scots, is not only in good repair, it has become a first class hotel in which you can stay as a guest. It is described as one of the most impressive castles in Scotland.

The present castle was originally built by Sir William Borthwick in 1430 but on the site of an earlier fortification. In 1567, Mary Queen of Scots and her third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, stayed at the castle soon after their marriage at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. A force of 1000 men, intent on killing Bothwell, turned up. Mary negotiated with them - while Bothwell slipped away. Next morning Mary also escaped, disguised as a page boy.

Borthwick CastleIn the 17th century, during the Civil War, Cromwell besieged the castle which surrendered after only a few cannon shots had been fired. One shot damaged the parapet - the damaged stonework can still be seen.

The castle was abandoned in the 17th century but was fully restored in 1890. The two wings of the castle, separated by a narrow recess, rise to eight storeys. A hall on the first floor of the main part of the castle has a minstrel's gallery. The walls are exceptionally thick, extending to three metres and there are stairs within these walls.

Borthwick Castle is now an up-market hotel. You can see more illustrations of the castle and make a reservation via the Borthwick Castle Web site.

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