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Looking Over Towards Neidpath Castle by Christine Smith

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Looking Over Towards Neidpath Castle by 

FEATURED in Preserving History 31-03-2012
FEATURED in English Heritage and National Trust 13-04-2012

Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Lens: 17-85mm @ 35mm, ISO: 200, Aperture: f11, Shutter: 1/125

Neidpath castle can be found on the banks fo the Tweed River, just outside Peebles in the Scottish Borders. The property is listed with the National Trust for Scotland. The original castle was built on this site by Sir Simon Fraser between 1263 and 1266, while he held the office of High Sheriff of Tweeddale. The barony of Neidpath was later transferred to the Hay family, through marriage in the early 14th century. The castle standing today was built by Sir William de Haya in the late 14th century and it was held by the family until the 17th century, although Sir William’s grandson, Sir William Hay, married the daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh Gifford of Yester, acquiring Yester Castle, which became the principal family seat, although Neidpath continued to be used. Neidpath Castle was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563, and by her son James VI in 1587. In 1645, Neidpath was garrisoned against the Royalist forces of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, although the following year, John Hay of Yester joined the King’s party, and was created 1st Earl of Tweeddale by King Charles II. During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked. Mike Salter states that the castle was surrendered without a fight, although other sources suggest that it required the longest assault on any stronghold south of the River Forth to force it to surrender. James Taylor, writing in 1887, states that the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery during the siege. During the 1660s, the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale remodelled the castle, and constructed outbuidings. The 2nd Earl was an agricultural “improver”, who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686. In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. His son William, the 2nd Earl, made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. The 3rd Earl inherited the title and estates of the Duke of Queensberry in 1778, and subsequently let Neidpath to tenants. These included the philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson. The castle suffered neglect, however, and by 1790 the upper storeys of the wing had collapsed. William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott both visited the castle in 1803. On the death of the Duke in 1810, the castle, along with the earldom of March, was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, although the dukedom went to the Scotts of Buccleuch. Neidpath still belongs to Earl of Wemyss; the Earl’s heir takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from it.

Neidpath Castle is a tall L-plan tower house, one leg of the L being very short. It has rounded corners. The battlements are roofed and the sentry walk is a balustraded balcony. There are few windows, and two still have their iron bar protection. Inside, the basement and the first-floor hall are vaulted, and the hall is further divided by a wooden floor into two storeys. Other features include a pit dungeon, and some small exhibitions of artifacts found in the locale. There are remains of a partly-walled garden. The archway is decorated with both the goats head emblem of the Hays and the strawberries of the Frasers. The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Jean Douglas, referred to by Sir Walter Scott as “the Maid of Neidpath”, the youngest daughter of William Douglas, Earl of March. Forbidden to marry the son of the laird of Tushielaw, who was considered below her station, she dwined while her lover was sent away. When he returned she was so wasted that he did not recognise her, causing her to die of a broken heart. She is reputed to appear clad in a full-length brown dress with a large white collar.
SOURCE Wikipedia


neidpath castle, peebles, tweed river, river tweed, scottish borders, scotland, castles, architecture, national trust

Photography been a longtime hobby that has now become an obsessive passion. I am fairly eclectic in my choice of subjects, and try to see beauty in most things. Thank you for dropping by my site and I welcome any feedback and tips.

Christine’s images have had:
793 Features & 41 Challenge Wins

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  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 2 years ago

    Lovely capture Christine, I have not visited that one …

  • Both your comment and fave are much appreciated Tom. You’ll have to take a drive and visit it one day.

    – Christine Smith

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thanks Audrey.

    – Christine Smith

  • joak
    joakover 2 years ago


  • Thanks for both your comment and the fave Joak. It was about -3 when I took this photo, I hope it was slightly warmer when you were shooting your film. Cheers, Christine

    – Christine Smith

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you Audrey.

    – Christine Smith

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsover 2 years ago

    Stunning Christine!!… what a gorgeous view and very interesting info…not a place I have visited although I have been to Peebles

  • Thanks so much Kate for another lovely comment and fave. If you ever get back to Scotland, it’s worth having a look at.

    – Christine Smith

  • vigor
    vigorover 2 years ago

    This is one place I would just love to see one day, I love Scotland and Ireland for the landscapes!

  • Thank you. I hope that you do get to see Neidpath one day, and I agree, Scotland is the most wonderful place for beautiful light and great landscapes.

    – Christine Smith

  • William Bullimore
    William Bullimoreover 2 years ago

    Wonderful image.

  • Thank you again for your kind words and fave William. It’s much appreciated.

    – Christine Smith

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 2 years ago

    March 31/12

  • I’m absolutely thrilled to have had this image selected for a feature. Thank you very much Vickie.

    – Christine Smith

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you so much for featuring this image Audrey. I really appreciate it.

    – Christine Smith

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