Old Thirlestone Castle

Old Thirlestone Castle, Berwickshire


Thirlestane, near Lauder, 26 miles South of Edinburgh




Nr TD2 6SF

Old Thirlestane Castle is a ruined 15th century tower house built by the Maitland family, standing on a terrace above the Boondreigh Water.

You can see the castle from the road and with care can be reached via a short walk. There is however very little remaining due to its destruction by the English and it being abandoned and left to fall into ruin.

~ History ~

1140 ~ In a charter Hugh de Morville grants the rent of Thirlestane to Elsi, later the Sheriff of Lauderdale. Elsi’s son, Alan, is known as Alan of Thirlestane.

1200 ~ Thomas de Thirlestane is born in Thirlestane Castle

1250 ~ Thomas's daughter, Avicia, marries Sir Richard Maitland. The powerfull Maitland family can trace their ancestry back to William the Conqueror and King William I of Scotland.

Later, Robert Maitland rebuilds the castle in stone.

1548 ~ The English completely destry the castle during a brutal conflict referred to as the "Rough Wooing" by KingHenry VIII to force the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to his son Edward, and in doing so take control of Scotland.

1585 ~ The Maitlands begin rebuilding another of their tower houses, Thirlestane Castle, and move there permanently ten years later.

Over the following centuries the castle remains occupied but is significantly reduced in importance as Thirlestone castle is expanded further. Eventually the castle is abandoned forever and is allowed to fall into ruin.