Tinnis Castle, Peebleshire
Drumelzier, South West of Peebles
If you go north by road from Moffat and then turn on to the Peebles road, look out for a conical hill on your right, and if you look carefully, right on the summit, you will see the stones of a ruin. This was Tinnis Castle; once an iron age fortress and later, an even mightier late medieval stronghold. On three sides was a steep drop to valley floor and the only approach was by way of a winding path exposed to the fire of the defending archers.
There lived the Tweedies, a formidable family, said to have been feared for their aggressive disposition, and at constant feud with many of their neighbours, but principally, the Veitches.
~ History ~
The Tweedies had moved to new castle they had built overlooking the River Tweed below. There they establish their base feared and avoided by all but folk they favoured. Those who came into conflict with them might quite well find themselves imprisoned until a ransom be paid, or await the pleasure of their captors.
Sir James Tweedie abuses his position to exert formidable power on his tenants, and, if possible, all who passed his way.
He devises a method of acquiring a lucrative income by charging a levy on those who pass by. Travellers only needed to cross his land to be required to pay homage to Sir James. Any defaulters could expect rough treatment at the hands of Tweedie’s men and would regret ever passing nearby.
One day, a small party of men pass along the way without making the least effort to stop and pay homage. Tweedie is enraged and, accompanied by his retinue, rides furiously after the offending party. Swearing to have them flogged so that they would never gain have the effrontery to ignore him.
As he approaches the group, bawling his intentions, their leader turns and Tweedie is horrified that the man he was threatening was none other than the King himself.
King James in turn investigates Tweedie’s conduct. As a result he is severely reprimanded and ordered to cease immediately his malpractices.
The Tweedies continue to live at nearby Drumelzier Castle until eventually they are overtaken by the Scots and the family sink into obscurity.
1592 ~ The Castle is destroyed on the orders of James VI.
It is blown up by gunpowder and such was the force of the explosion that large pieces of masonry, still bound together by their cement, and were hurled into the valley floor where they still lie.