Borthwick Castle Midlothian Hotel, Scotland

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Borthwick Castle Photos, Edinburgh & Lothian Venue, Historic Scottish Borders Building Location

Borthwick Castle : Historic Scottish Building

Midlothian Accommodation, southern Scotland: Scottish Borders Architecture

post updated 23 September 2023

Contact +44 (0)1875 820514

Hotel address: Borthwick, Midlothian, South East Scotland, UK

Location: 12m south of Edinburgh, nr Gorebridge, on minor road north off A7

Borthwick Castle Midlothian

Damage to parapet by Cromwell’s cannon:
Borthwick Castle
photo © Adrian Welch

Borthwick Castle: Introduction

Eight-storey keep begun in 1420.

Borthwick Castle is a tall, 15th century castle on a north-facing slope in typical rolling Borders countryside. It is open for dining / functions as the Borthwick Castle Hotel, Midlothian.

Borthwick Castle is located down a narrow wood-line lane just east of Borthwick village. Borthwick itself is 12 miles south-east of Edinburgh on the A772 or the A7, two miles south east of Gorebridge.

Borthwick Castle History

This U-plan Castle was built by Sir James Borthwick (later Lord Borthwick)
around 1420 on the site of an earlier motte-type castle Lochorwart, granted to him by James I.

The harled, twin-towered keep stands in the north-west corner of a walled courtyard. Borthwick Castle once had typically Scottish round towers at the corners but only one remains. The Castle walls are up to 14 feet thick; there is a 12 foot gap between the twin towers – prisoners (apparently) were made to jump this gap blindfolded.

Borthwick is the tallest castle (110 ft) in Scotland. Borthwick’s history had to be mentioned in addition to the architecture. Mary, Queen of Scots visited the castle in 1567 with James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. The couple were besieged by a force who implicated Bothwell in the murder of Mary’s second husband, Lord Darnley. Bothwell slipped out, and Mary escaped next day dressed as a page-boy, but she was soon captured.

Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians attacked Borthwick Castle in 1650. The
Castle was damaged by cannon and abandoned. Borthwick was restored between 1890 and 1914 and during the Second World War the Castle was used as a secret store for the nation’s Official Public Records.

The Castle became a conference centre before, like many in the UK, becoming a hotel – in 1973.

Midlothian Buildings

Buildings close by:

Crichton Castle: 2 miles north-east

Dalhousie Castle: 4 miles north-west

Borthwick Castle Hotel –website:

Contact Borthwick Castle on 01875 820514

South East Scotland Castle Buildings

Tantallon Castle
Tantallon Castle
photo © Adrian Welch

Scottish Castles in Edinburgh & Lothian

Edinburgh Tours

St Vincent Street Church
St Vincent Street Church
photo © Adrian Welch

Borthwick Castle is open March to January, check with the Hotel

Website: Borthwick Castle

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