Thirlestane Castle

Submitted by George Farquhar on Sat, 2011-04-30

Thirlestane history dates back to at least the 13 th century, when a large border fortress was built on the site to defend the approach to Edinburgh from the south.

The central part of the present castle was completed in 1590, remodeled in the 1670s and then again in 1840.

Throughout its long history, Thirlestane belonged to the family of Maitland, one of the most able and famous in Scotland. The Maitland came to Britain from France with William the Conqueror in 1066, and settled in Northumberland. In 1250, Sir Richard Maitland married Avice, daughter and sole heiress of Thomas du Thirlestane. It was this marriage that led to Thirlestane land and other property in the Maitland family. The remains of a ruined family houses at that time can still be seen, two miles from the A697 Castle.

Through military service and his contributions to law and the arts, Maitland gained increasing influence and power. In 1590, John Maitland became Lord Chancellor of Scotland. His son was created 1st Earl of Lauderdale and his brother, William Maitland, was secretary of Mary Queen of Scots.

In the 19 th century, the role of Thirlestane had evolved into more peaceful times that of a Scottish country mansion of the Earls of Lauderdale. The social use to which the castle now stands requires more space, so that in 1840 the architects of Edinburgh, David Bryce and William Burn, was used to design two wings flanking the central hold. The south wing, built around a central courtyard, located new kitchens, pantries, laundry and accommodation for servants. The exterior remodeling noted above features, with new towers designed to match the outer towers of the Torre del Homenaje. The interior work also remained favorable to the work of Sir William Bruce, the introduction of the features of the Victorian era, while retaining the magnificent Baroque.

Open for:

Good Friday, Easter Sunday & Easter Monday
22nd 24th & 25th April

  • 27th April until 30th June on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursdays
  • Bank Holidays 2nd & 30th May
  • July and August every day except Fridays and Saturdays
  • September on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays last day 29th September

Opening at 10.00am – Last entry into the Castle 3:00pm – Grounds close at 5:00pm

Special Openings

  • Tour Operators
  • Coach Operators
  • Specialist Groups
  • WRIs

The castle open at other times for pre-booked parties of over 20 persons. Groups of under 20 persons can be accommodated subject to a minimum charge.

Special private tours at £75.00 up to 4 persons.

‹ The Palace of Holyroodhouse up Glasgow Tourist Information › Similar of ‘Thirlestane Castle’

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