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Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock

Occupying a dramatic position 3 miles (4 km) east of North Berwick, Tantallon Castle was a stronghold of the Douglas family, built in the 14th Century. It is set on the edge of high cliffs, with the Bass Rock forming its back-drop. Originally built by William, 1st Earl of Douglas (c.1327 - 1384), the castle passed through his illegitimate son to the Earls of Angus (or the 'Red Douglases').

Tantallon includes a doo'cot, earthwork defences, a dry moat and a massive 15m (50 feet) high curtain wall with flanking towers. The gatehouse tower was extended and remodelled in the 16th century by King James V (1512-42).

The ruin which remains today is much as it was left after General Monk (1608 - 1670) had laid siege to the castle in 1651.


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