Niedpath Castle, Scotland
Sir William de Haya probably built the present castle in the late 14th century. In 1645, Neidpath was garrisoned against the Royalist forces of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, although the following year, John Hay of Yester joined the King’s party, and was created 1st Earl of Tweeddale by King Charles II. During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked. Mike Salter states that the castle was surrendered without a fight, although other sources suggest that it required the longest assault on any stronghold south of the River Forth to force it to surrender. James Taylor, writing in 1887, states that the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery during the siege. During the 1660s, the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale remodeled the castle, and constructed outbuidings. The 2nd Earl was an agricultural “improver”, who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686.
In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. His son William, the 2nd Earl, made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. The 3rd Earl inherited the title and estates of the Duke of Queensberry in 1778, and subsequently let Neidpath to tenants. These included the philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson. The castle suffered neglect, however, and by 1790 the upper stories of the wing had collapsed. William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott both visited the castle in 1803. On the death of the Duke in 1810, the castle, along with the earldom of March, was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, although the dukedom went to the Scotts of Buccleuch. Neidpath still belongs to Earl of Wemyss; the Earl’s heir takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from it.
The castle was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563, and by her son James VI in 1587.
Niedpath Castle overlooks the River Tweed about 1 mile west of Peebles in the Borders of Scotland.