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Clan Scott Heritage Trail

Edinburgh via Galashiels & Selkirk to Hawick and Hermitage Castle

The pages have brief notes on each location and where more information is available, there are links to longer pages on some of the places where appropriate. These main descriptions are all listed under the "Places to Visit" tab at the top of each Web page on this site.


NOTE: a growing number of the entries have a "Post Code" beside them - these are used by Sat-Nav software to supply routes to these locations.


Thirlstane Castle near Lauder

Edinburgh - A7 South


Detour via B6362 to Lauder


Thirlstane Castle (TD2 6RU) 17th century and later development of a 16th century castle built by the Maitlands who became Dukes of Lauderdale. The castle later becam a the property of the Scotts of Thirlstane


Spottiswoode House (East of Lauder) - (TD6 9NH) Built in the 1830s on the site of an earlier tower house. The estate had been held by the Spottiswoode family from the 13th century. The property passed by marriage to Lord John Douglas-Montagu Scott.


Detour A6089 / B6456  to Duns


Polwarth Castle (South-west of Duns) - Originally owned by the Polwarth family and later the Home family. Sir Patrick Home became Lord Polwarth in 1690 and the property was later acquired by the Scotts.



Return to A7


Galashiels - Reiver statue - as one of the main Border families the Scotts were very much a part of the reiver culture in the lawless centuries when they fought one another and the English.


Galashiels - Old Gala House - (TD1) a rambling mansion incorporating a 16th century tower house. The property passed by marriage from the Pringles of Galashiels to the Scotts in 1632.


Galashiels - Scott Park - (TD1 3JU) named after the Scott family who gifted the land to the town in 1939.



Abbotsford House - (TD6 9BQ) Built by Sir Walter Scott as his family home.


Detour via A6091




Melrose - Battle of Melrose / Darnick -  battle on 25 July 1526 when Walter Scott of Branxholme and Buccleuch attempted to rescue the young James V of Scotland from the powerful Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.


Melrose - Eildon Hall - (TD6 9HD) Built in 1802 as a classical villa and subsequently extended by eminent Scottish architect, William Burn to form a sizable Tudor mansion for the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. The house later became the traditional home of the Duke's eldest sons, the Earls of Dalkeith.




St Boswell's - Buccleuch Arms Hotel - (TD6 0EW) Dating from 1760, an elegant Georgian Coaching Inn, located on Moffat High Street named after the Buccleuch line,


St Boswell's - Lessuden House - altered 16th century tower house owned by the Scotts of Lessuden (Sir Walter Scott is descended from this family).


St Boswell's - Scotts of Raeburn - Sir Walter Wudspur Scott was 1st of Raeburn and his father, Sir William Scott, laird of Raeburn (1596-1655) was son of "Auld Wat" Scott of Harden and Mary "The Flower of Yarrow" Scott. William was husband of "Muckle Mou'd Meg"


St Boswell's - Scott's View - Sir Walter Scott's favourite view of Eildon Hills. Now also has a large statue of William Wallace.


St Boswell's - Dryburgh Abbey - (TD6 6RQ) Founded in 1150 it was destroyed on a number of occasions by invading English armies and was finally abandoned after the Reformation. Sir Walter Scott the writer and Earl Haig the commander in chief of the British army in the First World War are both buried here.


St Boswell's - Ancrum House - 19th century mansion built on site of a 16th century castle. by Robert Kerr of Ferniehurst. Owned by the Kerrs who became Earls of Ancrum but passed to the Scotts. Demolished 1970.


St Boswell's - Battle of Ancrum Moor - fought in 1545. English invading army of 5,000 routed.


Detour via A699 and minor roads


Smailhom Tower (TD5 7PG) - Sir Walter Scott described it as "standing stark and upright like a warden".


Sandyknowe Farm, Smailholm - (TD5 7PG) Young Walter Scott was sent to his grandfather's farm after contracting polio in Edinburgh.


Mertoun House (west of Kelso) - (TD6 0EA) Site of a castle of the Halyburtons but passed to Scotts of Harden, later Lord Polwarth.


Makerstoun House (west and south of Kelso) - (TD5 7PA) Incorporates a 16th century castle. Sacked by the Earl of Hertford in 1545 Owned by MacDougalls from 1373 to  1890, then Scotts of Gala, a cadet branch of the Scotts.


Kelso - Ballantyne House -


Moss Tower (South of Kelso) - site of 15th century castle


(Return via A699)



Selkirk  - Sir Walter Scott's Court House - (TD7 4BT) Now a museum


Selkirk - Statue to Sir Walter Scott - (TD7 4BT) Stands outside of the Court House in the centre of Selkirk


Selkirk - Battle of Philliphaugh - (TD7) Fought on September 13, 1645, at the height of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.


Selkirk - First football (soccer) pitch


Aikwood Tower (south of Selkirk) - (TD7 5HJ) 16th century tower house. Owned by Scotts of Harden in the 17th century and an earlier building is reputed tohave been a home of Michael Scott the 13th century "wizard".


Ettrick  House (South of Selkirk) - (TD7) Site of a castle belonging to the Scotts. The earlier castle and adjoining village were destroyed about 1700.


Gamescleuch Tower (south of Selkirk) - (TD7 5HX) Only a vaulted basement and a first floor hall survive of this tower which was owned by the Scotts of Tushielaw until1530 when it passed to the Scotts of Thirlstane.


Synton Tower (South of Selkirk) - (TD7) site of a 16th centrury tower house of the Scotts. Original building was incorporated or demolished when Synton House was built in the 18th cebtury.


Minto House (North-east of Hawick) - a 16th century tower house was incorporated into Minto Houde, an Adam designed mansion of the 1740s. The building belonged to the Turnbulls but passed to the Scotts in the 14th centurybut it was latersold to the Elliots who became Earls of Minto in 1813. Minto House has been neglected for many years and is largely demolished.


Stirches Tower (North of Hawick) - (TD9) 16th century tower house of the Scotts. Sold to the Chisholms in1650 and used as a Roman Catholic Home for Ladiess in 1926.


Hassendean Castle (north-east of Hawick) - (TD9) Once a tower of the Scotts but little remains now. Sir Alexander Scott of Hassendean died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.


Horseleyhill Tower (North-east of Hawick) - site of a Scott tower house.


Todrig Tower (North-west of Hawick) - An altered 17th century tower house held by the Scotts of Todrig. Extended in 19th century but now used as a farm house.


Whitslade Tower (North-west Hawick) - Property of the Scotts of Whitslade. The tower was burnt to the ground in 1502 by Hector Lauder and the Armstrongs and little remains.


Hawick - Drumlanrig's Tower - (TD9 9BZ) an altered and extended 16th century tower house in the centre of Hawick. Originally owned by the Douglases of Drumlanrig. Later occupied by Anna Duchess of Buccleuch, widow of the executed Duke of Monmouth. Later converted to a coaching inn and now houses an exhibition of local history and visitor centre.


Hawick - Reiver's Statue 


Hawick - St Mary's Church


Old Howpasley Tower (South-west Hawick) - (TD9 7PS) Site of a 15th century peel tower.


Detour along B711 (off A7 south of Hawick)


Harden House - Incorporates a 16th century tower house which may have replaced an earlier tower demolished in 1590. Much extended in1680-90 and in the 19th century. The estate belonged to the Homes but was sold to the Scotts in 1501. A member of the family was "Auld Wat" of Harden who married Marion Scott, the Flower of Yarrow.  The property was used as a farmhouse but restored in the mid 19th centuryand is now the home of Lord Polwarth. Andrew Walter Hepburne-Scott (born 1947) is the 11th Lord Polwarth.


Harden Glen - In the dark recess of the glen on the edge of which Harden House stands, Auld Wat kept his ill gotten gains, which helped to feed and maintain his followers.


Bellendean - South of the modern B711 raod, this was gathering place of the early Scott clan when they assembled to defend themselves - or go on one of the many reiving (rustling) raids with shouts of "A Bellendean"


Buccleuch Castle - (TD9 7NQ) A farmhouse has been built on the site of the first Buccleuch castle (or mansion). 


Return to A7


Goldielands Tower - a ruined 16th century tower house which was taken over by the Scotts in 1446.Scott of Goldielands was ordered to destroy Dryhope tower in 592. Walter Scott of Goldielnds was one of the group that rescued "Kinmont willie" from Carlisle castle in 1596.


Branxholm Castle - (TD9) Initially owned by the Lovels, the Balliols, the Murrays and the Inglises before passing to the Scotts. In 1420 in the reign of James I, half of the lands were exchanged between Robert Scott, Lord of Murthockston and the Inglises for Murthockston in Lanarkshire. Frequently attacked by the English and rebuilt and extended. The castle was again remodelled in 1837 and it is that building we see today.


Return to Hawick


Detour A60880


Sclaterford Bridge - a battle which took place at Sclaterford between the Scots and the English in 1513.


Brugh Castle, South & West of Hawick - site of a tower house dating from 16th century. Property of the Scotts of Allanhaugh but by 1595 had been acquired by the Elliots; however by 1632 in was owned by the Scotts of Buccleuch




Detour B6399



Hermitage Castle - (TD9 0LU) about 20 miles south of Hawick, it seems to take forever to reach it, along narrow, single-track roads. King James VI granted the castle to Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch,("the bold Buccleuch") a notorious Border reiver, Warden of the Western Marches, Keeper of Liddesdale, and leader of the daring and infamous attack on Carlisle Castle to rescue Willie Armstrong of Kinmont.


Divert via B6357


Newcastleton and Liddesdale Heritage Museum - (TD9 0QG) devoted to the culture and history of Liddesdale. The Eskdale & Liddesdale Estate is an important part of the Buccleuch ptoperty in the Borders.


Divert via B6318 and A7


Langholm Lodge -  Part of the Eskdale & Liddesdale Estate, it served as the Buccleuch family headquarters for 150 years before demolition as a result of military occupation during World War II.


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