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View of the castle

Thirlestane Castle Apartment, Lauder

This imposing castle, still a family home, has its origins in the 13th century, with 17th and 19th century additions.

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Summary

  • 15th century buildings
  • 16th century buildings
  • 17th century buildings
  • 18th century buildings
  • 19th century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • Free car parking (on site)
  • Historic Property

Facilities

  • Free broadband access
  • Shared gardens
  • Self-catering facilities

Food and Drinks

  • Self-catering facilities
  • Continental breakfast (included)
  • English breakfast (included)
  • Dinner available (at additional cost)

Introduction

Thirlestane is Scotland's fairytale castle, including the vast splendour of its turreted skyline and its elegant proportions.  We are delighted to be able to offer our five star apartment for rent on a bed and breakfast basis.  The apartment includes one double room, a bathroom, lounge, and kitchen facilities.

History to the present day

The history of Thirlestane dates back to at least the 13th century, when a large Border fort 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, remodelled in the 1670s, and then again in the 1840s.

Throughout its long history, Thirlestane belonged to the Maitland family, one of the most able and famous in Scotland.  Through military service and their contributions to law and the arts, the Maitlands 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 to Mary Queen of Scots.

John Maitland, 2nd Earl of Lauderdale, was one of the most important and controversial Scottish figures of the late 17th century. As a leading royalist, he was a confidant of King Charles II and spent nine years in the Tower of London under sentence of death. After the Restoration, he was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland. As such, he was virtually the uncrowned King of Scotland, and wielded unrivalled power and influence.

On his second marriage to the Countess of Dysart, he was created Duke of Lauderdale and began transforming Thirlestane Castle into a fitting palace from which to direct the affairs of Scotland. He employed Sir William Bruce to undertake the remodelling of the Castle. Bringing Renaissance influences to the Scottish Baronial style, he introduced the two front towers and the grand staircase and oversaw the transformation of the interior, the most remarkable feature of which is the rich plasterwork of the State Rooms.

The Duke's unscrupulous use of power eventually caused his downfall. Forced by the King to resign, he lost all his offices and was even deprived of his pension. On his death in 1682, leaving no heir, the Dukedom conferred upon him became extinct, while Thirlestane passed to his brother, Charles, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale.

By the 19th century, Thirlestane's role had evolved in more peaceful times to that of a Scottish country mansion for the Earls of Lauderdale. The social use to which the Castle was now put required more space, so in 1840 the Edinburgh architects, David Bryce and William Burn, were employed to design two large wings flanking the central Keep. The south wing, constructed around a central courtyard, housed new kitchens, pantries, laundries and servants' accommodation. The exterior remodelling highlighted the earlier features, with the new towers designed to match the outer towers of the Keep. The interior work also remained sympathetic to the work of Sir William Bruce, introducing the comforts of the Victorian age while retaining the magnificent features of the Baroque.

Food and Drinks

As the apartment is self-catering, ingredients are provided for guests to prepare breakfast in the privacy of the apartment kitchen.

Dinner can be prepared for you by a local chef. If you wish to book dinner, please request this in the Additional Information section of the booking form.

Arrival information and how to find us

Address: Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, Borders, TD2 6RU, United Kingdom

Check In: From 2pm Check Out: By 10am

Lauder is on the A68 28 miles south of Edinburgh. The Eagle Gates into Thirlestane Castle are off the A68 just south of the town.

More photos of Thirlestane Castle Apartment, Lauder

The Castle Watercolour of the fairytale castle The castle post restoration View of the castle from the parks