Outskirts EDINBURGH Scotland
Castle - Outskirts
BORTHWICK CASTLE WAS BUILT IN 1430 BY SIR WILLIAM DE BORTHWICK, WHO WAS GRANTED A ROYAL CHARTER BY KING JAMES I OF SCOTLAND.
This magnificent 600-year old castle, known as “Scotland’s Greatest Keep”, is a phenomenal structure consisting of some 30,000 tons of Ashlar Stone, which was quarried in the local town of Middleton. Over the last six centuries this Scottish castle has seen many faces pass through it’s halls; the most well known being Mary Queen of Scots, who stayed at the castle in June 1567, not long after her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell.
Notable features of Borthwick Castle include the Great Hall and it’s 40 foot vaulted ceiling, walls hung with tapestries and the ceiling; painted with frescoes. Above this there is a second chamber of the same height with a similar rounded vault, which is currently divided into two levels. One can still make out the phrase ‘ye tempil of honour’ on the west side, although on the east the phrase ‘ye tempil of religion’ is now indecipherable.
Weddings at Borthwick Castle
NESTLED IN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL RURAL SETTINGS IN SCOTLAND AND SURROUNDED BY ROLLING COUNTRYSIDE, MAJESTIC BORTHWICK CASTLE PROVIDES THE PERFECT SETTING FOR CREATING A MAGICAL WEDDING.
Whether plans are for decadence and grandeur or simplicity and intimacy, the expert team at Borthwick can cater for any request to create a truly bespoke and memorable experience. The possibilities are endless given the flexibility of the historic and opulent indoor castle space and the picturesque surrounding grounds – so the look, feel and structure of the day can be entirely tailored to each couple’s brief.
Religious or civil ceremonies/civil partnerships, can be staged in the top floor ‘Garrison’ or one of the many atmospheric spots throughout the castle. The team can also assist with booking local Borthwick Church for a service prior to a reception at the castle.
Wedding celebrations are custom-designed for Borthwick guests – from an exquisite, seated, Borthwick banquet to a relaxed summer barbecue with cocktails in the gardens. Those who wish to continue the celebrations into the small hours can do so with a ceilidh or made-to-measure party – or guests can simply enjoy a dram by one of the castle’s roaring fires, before retreating to their luxurious bedchambers to relax in the most indulgent surroundings.
With over 25 years of experience in organising the most important day in a couple’s lives, the Borthwick Castle team has the skills and expertise to deliver to the very highest standards – ensuring that a Borthwick wedding is a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Borthwick Castle's History
History of Borthwick Castle BORTHWICK CASTLE IS ONE OF THE FINEST AND BEST PRESERVED 15TH CENTURY KEEPS IN SCOTLAND. AN IMPOSING FORTRESS COMPOSED OF A MASSIVE DOUBLE TOWER, SURROUNDED BY AN EMBATTLED WALL, IT IS MUCH ADMIRED FOR THE BEAUTY OF ITS PROPORTIONS AS WELL AS THE SOLIDITY OF ITS MASONRY. It is the culmination of a rich 600 year history, which starts with its creator, Sir William de Borthwick, and continues through some of the most dramatic episodes in Scotland's past. The castle sits on a knoll - the 'Mote of Lochwart' - at the centre of a small but well cultivated valley, positioned to guard the road south to the Borders from Edinburgh. 1430: In the Beginning The castle was built in 1430 by Sir William de Borthwick, who was one of the nobles who volunteered as a substitute hostage for the ransom of James I of Scotland in 1425. Borthwick was given a special licence by King James I to build 'a castle or fortalice, to surround the same with walls and ditches, and to defend it with gates of brass or iron; and also, to place upon the summit defensive ornaments, by which is meant battlements and turrets.' Having purchased the lands from Sir William Hay of Yester, Sir William de Borthwick built the tower to an impressive scale: 74 feet in length, 68 in breadth, and in height, from the area to the battlements, 90 feet. A contemporary source describes 'a great and strong tower within and without, and of great height, the wall thereof being above 15 feet in thickness towards the foundation.' The walls are of hewn stone, and the knoll on which the castle is situated, is surrounded by a courtyard, enclosed and fortified by a strong outer wall. The Middleton Burn joins to form Gore Water - a tributary of the South Esk - surrounding the castle and contributing to its romantic appearance. The entrance from the outer court to the keep would have been by a stone ramp, linked with the gate of the tower by a drawbridge - a means of interior defence peculiar to castles of the 15th century. The battlements of Borthwick Castle also command some of the most beautiful views in the area. The interior of Borthwick Castle has seen little structural alteration over the years. The Great Hall is on the first storey and is 40 feet long, with a music gallery perched above and a lofty roof. The roof and walls would once have been adorned with colourful paintings and motifs, with inscriptions including 'ye tempil of honour' and 'ye tempil of religion'. There are three sets of spiral stone stairs, giving access to the Keep's separate storeys, including a small room that is believed to have been the bedchamber of its most famous resident...Mary Queen of Scots. 1567: Mary Queen of Scots "JUNE 11TH, 1567. THE LORDIS CAME SUDDENLY TO BORTHWICK; BOTHWELL FLED TO DUNBAR, AND THE LORDIS RETYRED TO EDINBROUGH. SHE FOLLOWED BOTHWELL TO DUNBAR, DISGUISED." This extract from a letter addressed to the Archbishop of Glasgow describes the anxious moment in which Mary Queen of Scots fled from Borthwick, dressed it is believed as a page. She and Lord Bothwell had fled here from Holyrood in Edinburgh, after the murder of Mary's husband, Lord Darnley, with Bothwell himself the chief suspect. On 11th June, a number of Scottish barons including Morton, Mar, Hume, and Lindsay, alongside a 1000-strong army on horseback, surrounded Borthwick Castle. Bothwell had advance warning and had time to ride off with a few attendants and, while Mary waited, the insurgent nobles rode to Edinburgh to build their support. When Mary got word that the provost and citizens of Edinburgh did not oppose them, she immediately resolved on flight. Assuming the disguise of a page, Mary mounted her horse, and pursuing a by-path through the glen east of the present farm of Aflieck-hill, she arrived at Black Castle, where she was met by Bothwell. 1650: Cromwell's Attack ONE OF BORTHWICK CASTLE'S MOST STRIKING FEATURES IS A LARGE GOUGE IN THE STONEWORK OF THE EAST WALL. Many historians believe that in 1650, as Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentarian forces marched through Scotland en route to Edinburgh, the 10th Lord Borthwick was instructed to leave his castle. He initially refused and the resulting damage from Cromwell's cannon can be seen to this day. Lord Borthwick then left, avoiding the destruction of the castle. As a result of this, no member of the Borthwick family inhabited the castle until 1810, when J. Borthwick of Crookston bought it back
Borthwick Castle's table of pricing
FROM AN OVERNIGHT STAY TO A WEEK-LONG HIRE OR LONGER, GUESTS CAN ENJOY EXCLUSIVE USE OF THE CASTLE AND ITS GROUNDS FOR SPECIAL GATHERINGS, FAMILY CELEBRATIONS, HOLIDAYS, WEDDINGS AND EVENTS. With private hire comes the dedicated castle team who will provide you with the warmest welcome, a highly professional service and a friendly personal touch. There are no set rules or menus, so you choose how you want your plans bringing to life - whether that's breakfast in bed, a personal whisky tasting, a fabulous feast in the Great Hall, golf at some of Scotland's top courses or a tailor-made tour of Edinburgh's historic landmarks. LOW SEASON 1 OCTOBER 2019 - 31 MARCH 2020 £8,500 for one night / £16,000 for two nights HIGH SEASON 1 APRIL 2020 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2020 £10,000 for one night £18,000 for two nights A minimum two-night stay is required for weekend bookings during high season. Prices are for exclusive hire of the castle on a bed & breakfast basis for upto 26 guests.
How to reach Borthwick Castle