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Neidpath Castle lies about a mile west of Peebles in the Borders. It was built in the 14th century by Sir William de Haya, Sheriff of Peebles, replacing an earlier castle which belonged to the Fraser family. The Hays were royalists and Neidpath withstood Cromwell's forces longer than any other castle in the South of Scotland. However, Cromwell's cannons succeeded in the end and caused much damage to the castle, as they did to so many other historic properties. Although it was partially repaired, the Duke of Queensberry, who took over the castle in 1686, allowed it and its gardens to fall into ruin, and the upper part of the wing of the tower had collapsed by 1790. Today, only the main block and south range remain roofed. The castle has been a source of inspiration for the 19th century authors Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth, and some of the scenes in films The Bruce, Merlin and Joan of Arc were shot here.

The Duke of Queensberry subsequently gave the castle to his son, the Earl of March. In the 16th century, Neidpath was known as "Jedderfield". Today, it is privately owned by the Earl of Wemyss but is sometimes open to the public and it can be hired for functions such as weddings. At the moment it remains closed though I do recall having seen around it some fifteen years or so ago. If you are interested, you can see some pictures of the inside of the castle if you follow this link.

This picture was taken during an afternoon walk in January two years ago. Here I was walking back towards Peebles along the north bank of the River Tweed (you can see the location if you click on Map:view). There was some low sunlight on the castle but the valley was really quite dark so I needed to use a tripod. The lady wearing a red jacket and approaching the "kissing gate" in the foreground was a stroke of good fortune but unfortunately she's a bit blurred on account of my slow shutter speed.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1199 W: 387 N: 4291] (17314)
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