Region : Peeblesshire
Location : Peebles
Details : An earlier castle here belonged to Sir Simon Fraser. He defeated the English at Roslin Moor in 1302, but was later captured and executed by the English. The property passed by marriage to the Hays in 1312. Neidpath Castle is a massive 14th century stone four storey L-plan tower house, founded by the de Hay family. Built against the steep banks of the River Tweed, the main block with its rounded corners, originally had three vaulted rooms. Extensive alterations to the tower in 17th century, removed the top vault and divided the middle vault, to fit in extra floors. In the small courtyard are a range of buildings from the 16th to 18th centuries. Mary Queen of Scots stayed there in 1563 and her son, King James VI, visited in 1587. The castle was beseiged by Cromwell in 1650. In more recent times, the castle was used during filming of “The Bruce”.
The castle is quite badly damaged and does have scaffolding up and there are warning signs telling you not to climb on it. From the ourside, the castle is on a hill (it is best to get to the castle from the road side rather than through the park if it is muddy and wet).
Paranormal Phenomena : said to be haunted by the ghost of Jean, the youngest daughter of Sir William Douglas, Earl of March. Jean fell in love with one of the Scotts of Tushielaw, a Border laird, but the romance was forbidden as he was merely the son of a minor landowner. He was banished from the area, but Jean, refusing to take any other husband, sickened and became thin and gaunt. When her lover finally returned, she was so ill that he no longer recognised her. This final blow was too much for Jean and the shock killed her.
Her ghost however stayed at the castle, an apparition dressed in a full-length brown frock with a large white collar. Disturbances are reported even now: doors are said to open and close by themselves, unexplained noises have been reported, while objects move by themselves.