Neidpath Castle in the Scottish border country has a new website on www.neidpathcastle.co.uk. This magnificent border tower house, built by Sir John Hay of Locherworth in the later 15th century, has strong connections with Clan Hay. The lands and barony of Neidpath were first acquired through the marriage of an earlier Hay of Locherworth to the daughter of Simon Fraser of Oliver, the Scottish patriot so cruelly murdered by the English in 1306. The castle remained a seat of the Yester Hays for nearly 400 years. It was restored, extended and brought up to date by the 2nd Earl (and later 1st Marquis) of Tweeddale, who created a hanging garden on the bank leading from the castle down to the River Tweed and planted the avenue of yew trees which can still be seen. The earl was destined to see little benefit from his work; he was compelled to sell the castle to the Duke of Queensberry in 1686 as a result of the financial difficulties he inherited from his father, who had guaranteed the debts of his uncle, the feckless and bankrupt Earl of Dunfermline. The castle was sold again 100 years later to the Earl of Wemyss and March and the property remains in this family, owned by Lady Elizabeth Benson, the daughter of the late Earl.
Neidpath Castle is available for hire through the Wemyss & March Estate (email email@example.com). It is proving a particularly popular venue for weddings, unsurprising in light of its spectacular setting above the River Tweed in the midst of the beautiful border countryside near Peebles. It also features as a film location and, as a genuine medieval Scottish tower, has been a popular venue for historical re-enactments.
Holiday accommodation is available in the form of three properties for rent, including the nearby historic Barns Tower and a restored appartment situated in a formerly ruined section of the castle’s barmkin. The castle is ideally situated as a base for a country holiday, offering nearby access to fishing, shooting, walking, riding and golf (among others) whilst being within easy reach of Edinburgh. At the moment the castle is not usually open to visitors, but private guided tours can be arranged through the Wemyss & March estate office.