Dalhousie Castle

15th century castle, built by the Ramsays of Dalhousie

Dalhousie Castle History

Dalhousie Castle is steeped in history and there are fascinating reminders of its rich and often turbulent past. For example: the 15th century Well, which still yields drinkable water, and the forbidding Bottle Dungeon, a ten-foot square windowless chamber where prisoners had to be lowered into by rope.

Built over 800 years ago by the Ramsays of Dalhousie, a noble Scottish family descended from Simundus de Ramseia, who in about 1140 followed King David I to Scotland from the Huntingdon village of Ramsay.

The castle has remained in possession of one family longer than any other in Scotland and now stands peacefully amongst the rolling Midlothian countryside.



William de Ramsay joined forces with King Robert the Bruce and was present at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The Ninth Earl George, a close friend of Sir Walter Scott, fought at Waterloo before being appointed Governor of Nova Scotia in 1816. His son, James, became the youngest ever Governor General of India at the age of 33 - the castle's India bedroom celebrates his significant work.

Dalhousie Castle has, over the centuries, played host to kings, queens, diplomats, politicians and famous authors - the splendid rooms named after them remain as a fitting tribute to the castle's unique history.