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6th July 2014 - Event closed
 

Tantallon Castle

   

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle
 
 
 

 

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Mighty Tantallon Castle was built in the 1350s by a nobleman at the height of his power. In 1354, William Douglas came into possession of all his father’s lands, as well as those of his uncle, ‘the Good Sir James of Douglas’, a close friend of King Robert Bruce. The estates included the barony of North Berwick. In 1358 William was created Earl of Douglas, by which date the builders may already have begun to build his new stronghold.

Tantallon was the last truly great castle built in Scotland. Its architecture harked back to the mighty stone castles of enclosure of the 13th century, such as Bothwell Castle. These were characterised by enormously thick and high stone walls enclosing large closes, or courtyards. Lofty stone towers projected from the great curtain, wherein the noble life was lived.

In the 1380s the dynastic house of Douglas split into two branches, known as the ‘Black’ and the ‘Red’. Tantallon passed to the junior line, the ‘Red Douglases’, Earls of Angus. For the next 300 years, the earls of Angus held sway at the castle, acting out their role as one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland.

During that time it endured three great sieges, in 1491, 1528 and 1651. The last, by Oliver Cromwell’s army, resulted in such devastating destruction that the mighty medieval fortress was abandoned to the birds.

 

We will be visiting both Tantallon Castle and Dirleton Castle on Wednesday 2nd July, before travelling to Lennoxlove House, home to Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 16th Duke of Hamilton, where we will have afternoon tea.

Your tour ticket price includes entry to Dirleton, Tantallon and Lennoxlove.


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