Drochil Castle

Drochil castle

Off on the left hand side of the A72, just before the B7059 from Romano Bridge joins, are the ruins of Drochil castle.

It was built by James Douglas, Earl of Morton in 1578. He was (in)famous for bringing the Maiden (guillotine) to Scotland and with an ironic sense of justice was sentenced to its blade in 1581 for his part in the murder of Mary Queen of Scots's husband, the Earl of Darnley.

The castle consists of two 4 story blocks with a corridor running between. There are two circular towers at opposite corners. Its plan was unusual for the time giving relative privicy of access to the apartments. The initials I.D.E.O.M. (James Douglas, Earl of Morton) were originally over the Main door.

It passed through the the Earls of Traquair, and Earls of Tweeddale before being purchased by the 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686 and has descnded directly to its present owners the Earl of Wemyss and March. the castle only appears to have been lived in in the 17th century. By the 19th, stone was being stolen for local buildings.