Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Old Woodhouselee Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Midlothian West, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8416 / 55°50'29"N

Longitude: -3.1876 / 3°11'15"W

OS Eastings: 325726

OS Northings: 661574

OS Grid: NT257615

Mapcode National: GBR 605W.PS

Mapcode Global: WH6T6.0FCK

Entry Name: Old Woodhouselee Castle

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5607

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Glencorse

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian West

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument consists of the remains of Old Woodhouselee Castle, a 16th-century defensive residence.

The castle occupies a precipitous position above the N bank of the River North Esk. The building has been L-shape on plan. Most of the structure has been reduced to ground level. The main limb lying ENE-WSW has consisted of a vaulted basement although most of the vaulting has fallen. This masonry supports a section of walling at the SW end.

The ground on the N is level with the head of the vaults. On this side at the E end are the footings of a projecting wing. Two small square windows are positioned low in the vaulting on the S wall. In 1966 Watson's College Archaeological Society excavated a small room, presumably a kitchen, within the main block, revealing two ovens.

The area to be scheduled is the elevated land defined by the river North Esk to the SW, the S edge of the aqueduct to the N, and the curve of the footpath on the SE, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example, albeit much reduced, of a 16th century domestic residence thought to have been the property of the wife of James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. Her eviction from the estate is thought to have precipitated Hamilton's murder of the Regent Moray in 1570. Occupation deposits survive around the house and below its walls containing evidence, retrievable through excavation, which may increase our understanding of defensive architecture, construction history, material culture, domestic economy and landuse during the period of its habitation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT26SE 10.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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