Hailes Castle sits to the north of
Traprain Law, on the southern bank of the River
Tyne between Haddington and
East Linton in East Lothian.
The castle was originally built as a fortified manor house by the de Gourlay
family in the 13th century. The de Gourlays supported the English during the
Scottish Wars of Independence and as a result forfeited much of their land along
with the castle; these were passed on to the Hepburn family who extended it,
adding the square west tower and extending the curtain wall.
James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell and third husband
of Mary, Queen of Scots, was the last of that family to own the castle.
Following Mary’s abdication, Bothwell forfeited all his land along with the
castle, which passed to the James VI. The remains of the castle seen today are
largely a result of Oliver Cromwell’s forces dismantling it in 1650. These
remains are now looked after by Historic Scotland.
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