Barnes Castle

(The Vaults)

Barnes Castle
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Barnes Castle

An incomplete castle on a ridge in the Garleton Hills of East Lothian, Barnes Castle lies a half-mile (1 km) southwest of Athelstaneford and 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Haddington. John Seton of Barnes began constructing the castle in the late 16th century, but he died in 1594 with the walls barely reaching 5m (16 feet) and only the vaulted basement completed. Thus the castle is often referred to simply as 'The Vaults'. The walls are laid out in a highly formal symmetrical style, which was very advanced for its time, defining a square, intended to enclose a courtyard, with well-defined corner towers. The low-lying ruin is still a prominent landmark and is now a dumping ground for disused farm equipment.

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