Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle, Midlothian





B Road off A7


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Borthwick Castle is located to the east of the village of Borthwick, about 12 miles south-east of Edinburgh. The castle sits on a small hill and is protected on three sides by steep slopes.

With walls up to 14 feet thick, in its day this was a proper defensive Tower-House surrounbed by courtyard walls and towers.

The massive keep is one of the best preserved in all of Scotland and is easy to see why today it earns its keep as a venue for weddings.


~ History ~

1430 ~ Sir William Borthwick builds the castle as the ancestral home of the Borthwick's.

1567 ~ The Scottish nobles who had been coerced to support Bothwell's marriage to Mary following Darnley's murder, now change their minds when they see how powerful his new position and threat he poses to their interests.

They sign a bond to liberate the Queen, securing Prince James and bringing Bothwell's influence and power to and end.

The ring leaders secure a formidable army, including those deserting Mary's cause. Bothwell & Mary return to Borthwick Castle to muster their own forces.

Before they are able to muster sufficient support Borthwick Castle is surrounded. Before a full siege is able to be put in place Bothwell manages to escape unnoticed.

Only by disguising herself as a page boy does Mary make good her own escape, riding off to meet Bothwell at Black Castle, stronghold of the Wauchopes, Bothwell's own henchmen.

From there, Mary and Bothwell reach Dunbar to muster an army which confronts the nobles at Carberry Hill. The resulting battle see's Mary captured being imprisoned at Lochleven Castle.

1650 ~ The Castle is attacked by Oliver Cromwell's forces, and is surrendered after only a few cannon shots. When Cromwell's forces finally leave the Castle, it is abandoned and left to decay.

~ Legend ~

Ann Grant, a serving girl at Borthwick Castle, falls in love with one of the Borthwick lairds. In the time of their affair it becomes all too evident that she is with child. Borthwick has Ann murdered. She is held by two women whilst a soldier slashes her across the belly, leaving her to die alone in her own blood.