Westgate Hall, Denholm

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Westgate Hall is located in Westgate in the village of Denholm, Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders.

It stands at the western and south-western approaches to the village. Dating from the 17th century (the date 1663 appears above the door), it is an example of a building of that period that was once common in Scotland and is now a category A listed building.

The name Westgate Hall was used to distinguish it from another building, East Castle, on the east side of the village on the road to Jedburgh. It is a two storey house, with a relatively recent extension and external staircase on the left side of the building, whose overall dimensions are 55 ft. by 23 ft. There are four skew-puts (the corner stone that supports the coping of a gable). The western one bears the heraldic heart of the Douglas family.

Internally at against the right (i.e. north) wall there is an original large fireplace, 5 ft. 10 in. wide. This includes a large lintel (2 ft. high) with two recessed panels, the right-most one of which is octagonal, bearing the initials S A D for Sir Archibald Douglas above his heraldic sign - a heart with three mullets.

As recorded in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, Charles I granted a charter to Archibald Douglas, heir to Sir William Douglas of Cavers, for certain properties including the town and lands of Denholm. Sir William and his family were barons of Cavers, encompassing the parish of Cavers. This Barony together with the lands of Cavers, and also the hereditary sheriffship of Roxburghshire, were possessed by the family of Douglas until the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in the 18th century.

In 1907 the top floor was made available as a meeting hall by the Palmer-Douglases(1), when the outside staircase was added, and was so used until the 1950s.

Notes:
1.  The Palmer-Douglas family, descendants of the Douglases of Cavers, were the last to occupy Cavers Castle.

See also:
•  Douglas of Cavers


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017