Branxholme Castle is one of four Scottish important country houses owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, the others being Bowhill (near Selkirk) and Drumlanrig (Dumfries and Galloway) and Dalkeith Palace (Midlothian). Overlooking the River Teviot, Branxholme is located 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Hawick on the A7 road to Langholm. Branxholme has been the hereditary seat of the Scotts of Buccleuch since the middle of the 15th Century and was the centre of power in Upper Teviotdale on one of the key historic routes south to England.
The original tower was burned in 1532 by the Earl of Northumberland and then blown up in 1570 during the invasion of the Earl of Surrey. Most of what can be seen today dates from rebuilding between 1571 and 1574 begun by Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm and completed by his widow, although one substantial corner tower remains from the previous structure.
The author Sir Walter Scott, a close friend and distant relative of the 4th Duke of Buccleuch, set his book Lay of the Last Minstrel at Branxholme.