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Thirlestane Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Thirlestane Castle, the seat of the Earl of Lauderdale, in Lauder parish, Berwickshire, on the right bank of Leader Water, 3 furlongs NE of Lauder town. Originally a strong tower called Lauder Fort, built by Edward I. during his invasion of Scotland, it was renovated or rebuilt by Chancellor Maitland, and acquired from the Duke of Lauderdale a new front and wings, together with great interior improvements. It now is a massive and stately pile, partly ancient and partly modern, whose decorations are mainly in the style of Charles II.'s reign. Sir Richard de Maitland was lord of Thirlestane in the latter half of the 13th century, and among his descendants were the blind poet, Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington (1496-1586); William Maitland, Secretary Lethington (1525-73), the 'Chameleon;' Sir John or Chancellor Maitland (153795), created Lord Maitland of Thirlestane in 1590; John, second Lord Maitland (d. 1645), created Earl of Lauderdale in 1624; John, second Earl (1616-82), created Duke of Lauderdale in 1672, of Cabal fame; and Charles, twelfth Earl (1822-84), who was killed by lightning whilst grouse-shooting near Lauder, and who held 25,512 acres, valued at £17,320 per annum. The title is now claimed by Major Henry Maitland (b. 1840), who is third in descent from the fourth son of the sixth Earl, and by Sir James Gibson-Maitland, Bart., of Sauchie (b. 1848), who is fourth in descent from his fifth son.—Ord. Sur., sh. 25, 1865.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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