Traquair Edinburgh Scotland
Castle - Traquair
Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House
Traquair Castle is a unique property, located just 30 miles south of Edinburgh. It offers a unique blend of history, family attractions and luxurious accommodation.
Traquair Castle was originally owned by the kings of Scotland. It later became the home of the Earls of Traquair and is still lived in by their decendants, the Maxwell Stuart family. It is well known as the oldest-inhabited and most romantic house in Scotland.
This unique castle offers you accommodation in a choice of three rooms, steeped in history.
Secluded in woodland gardens and forest, less than 30 miles south of Edinburgh, Traquair stands serene; this is one place in Scotland you will always remember with happy affection.
Celebrate your wedding at Tarquair Castle
Traquair is one of Scotland’s most romantic castles and a perfect venue for your wedding…
If you are looking for a unique setting in an authentic castle, steeped in history, with personal service and attention to detail, Traquair is the ideal setting for the most important day of your life.
With the castle’s own Catholic chapel and a licence for civil ceremonies, you can be married in the house or in some of the magical areas of the grounds, such as the Cupid’s Garden, Traquair Maze and The Yew Tree Circle.
Please note that the chapel at Traquair cannot be used for registry weddings.
Within the main building, The Still Room is bright and friendly, and is perfect for very small wedding meals, for up to 8 people.
Our main atractions are the maze and the brewery
The Traquair Maze was planted in 1981 and is one of the largest hedged mazes in Scotland, covering over half an acre. It is 1/4 mile to reach the centre.
Planted originally with Leylandi Cyprus trees, the maze suffered from an extraordinarily harsh winter in 1983, when over two thirds of the trees died. It was decided to replant with the hardier Beech trees, which has added colour and interest to the maze.
Brewing at Traquair originally took place in the kitchens of the house, but in the early 1700’s the present brewery was established in one of the new wings built in 1694.
Traquair Castle's History
Early Medieval Period - Royal Hunting Lodge and Defensive Tower The name Traquair comes from tret or tre, a word of Celtic origin, meaning a dwelling place or hamlet, and from quair, meaning a stream with a winding course. The Quair burn joins the River Tweed a few hundred yards from the rear of the house. It is not know when the exact foundations of the house were laid, but a substantial structure must have existed by 1107 when Alexander 1 of Scotland signed a royal charter at Traquair. At this time, the castle was used as a hunting lodge for royalty and also as a base where they could administer justice, issue laws and hold courts. At Traquair, many charters still exist. One, signed in 1175, authorised William the Lion to found a Bishop's Burgh with a right to hold a market on Thursday. This small hamlet was later to become the City of Glasgow. 1500s - 1700s - Family Home and Prosperity During this period, Traquair made the transition from a defensive tower house into a family home. In the 1500s, the lairds of Traquair played important roles in public life with John Stuart, 4th Laird of Traquair, becoming the Captain of the Queen's bodyguard to Mary Queen of Scots. He was host to the Queen when she visited Traquair with her husband and baby son, James, in 1566. The cradle where she rocked her baby, her bed and some other possessions can still be seen in the house. During the 16th century, the main building was extended, so by 1599, the main body of the house was completed. Then in the early 1600's the 7th Laird added the top storey, realigned the windows and changed the course of the River Tweed so it ran further away from the house. The 7th Laird also became the most influential member of the family and he held the post of Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. He was granted an earldom in 1628 and three years later became Commissioner of Scotland. Unfortunately, his fidelity to the king and his attempt to bring Episcopacy to Scotland were to be his downfall. He lost his post, suffered heavy fines and was rumoured to have been seen begging in the streets of Edinburgh towards the end of his days. 1700s - Jacobites and Troubled Times In the early 1700s, the political situation in Scotland was very unsettled with James II now exiled in France and deposed by his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. Charles, the fourth Earl remained loyal to James and became one of his band of supporters, known as the Jacobites, who worked secretly to restore the Stuarts to the throne. The political choices made by the Stuarts of Traquair, who also upheld their Catholic beliefs, led to some difficult and troubled years ahead from which the family never fully recovered. Shortly after his marriage to Mary, Charles, the fourth Earl was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, suspected of his involvement in a Jacobite plot. Later, he supported his sister-in-law, Lady Winifred Nithsdale, to help her husband as he took part in the first Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The 1800s to Present Day - Decline and Rise of Traquair Traquair in the nineteenth century was a house in decline. Charles, the eighth Earl, inherited a large financial debt from his father, but although he was forced to reduce the size of the estate, he was able to implement a progressive policy of modernisation and farm building. Unfortunately, he never married but he did have his share of eccentricities and thwarted his family's attempts to find him a wife, by putting stinging nettles in the beds of his female admirers. As Charles had no children, Traquair passed to his Lady Louisa Stuart in 1875. She lived on for another 14 years, dying in her 100th year and reputedly was a great friend of Sir Walter Scott, whom she visited at Abbotsford, just over the hills from Traquair. After the death of the last Earl, the earldom became extinct as the title could only pass through a male heir. Traquair was then passed to the nearest cousin, Henry Constable Maxwell of Terregles. He added the name Stuart to his own.
Traquair Castle's table of pricing
£220 per room per night, for bed and breakfast accommodation. £155 per room per night, for bed and breakfast accommodation.
How to reach Traquair Castle