Welcome to Thirlestane Castle
Thirlestane Castle is set in the Border hills at Lauder. Built originally as a defensive fort in the 13th century, it was re-built in the 16th century as the home of the Maitland family, one of the most able and famous in Scotland.
The Maitlands came to Britain from France with William the Conqueror in 1066, and settled in Northumberland. In about 1250, Sir Richard Maitland married Avicia, the daughter and sole heiress of Thomas du Thirlestane.
It was this marriage that brought the lands of Thirlestane and others into the ownership of the Maitland family. The ruined remains of one of the family homes at that time can still be seen, two miles from the dastle off the A697.
As the seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale, Thirlestane Castle was enlarged and embellished over the centuries but it still remains home to the Maitland family - the Duke's ghost is said to haunt the castle!