Floors 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.

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Floors Castle, the seat of the Duke of Roxburghe, in Kelso parish, Roxburghshire, 3 furlongs from the N bank of the Tweed, and 1¼ mile WNW of Kelso town. As built for the first Duke in 1718 by Sir John Vanbrugh, a better playwright than architect, it was severely plain, not to say heavy-looking; but in 1849 and following years the whole was transformed by Playfair of Edinburgh into a sumptuous Tudor pile-one of the most palatial residences of the Scottish nobility. The gardens, too, already beautiful, were greatly extended (1857-60); the home farm, to the rear of the castle, was rearranged and in great measure rebuilt (1875); and no fewer than 120 model cottages were erected on the estate-all these improvements being carried out by James, sixth Duke (1816-79), who had the honour of receiving visits here from Queen Victoria (Aug. 1867), the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Albany, etc. John, third Duke (17401804), is remembered as a famous bibliomaniac. His library, numbering nearly 10, 000 books, was sold in 1812, when the first edition of the Decameron (1471) brought £2260, and Caxton's Historye of Troye (1461) 1000 guineas. James Henry Robert Innes-Ker, present and seventh Duke since 1707 (b. 1839; suc. 1879), holds 50, 459 acres in the shire, valued at £43, 820, 8s. per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 25, 1865. See Roxburgh, Kelso, and Cessford.

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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