Although nothing remains of Jedburgh Castle, it's easy to see why
this spot was chosen. With a commanding view over the surrounding
countryside, the castle would have dominated the town, standing on
an earthen mound at the top of Jedburgh's main street (the High
Street, becoming Castle Gate as it climbs the hill).
first castle at Jedburgh is thought to have been a wooden motte and
bailey structure built in the first half of the 12th century by
David I. A royal castle, it was the place of death of David's
grandson and successor Malcolm IV in 1165.
In 1174 the next
king, William I, Malcolm's brother, was captured by the English at
the Battle of Alnwick. To secure his release the Scots signed the
Treaty of Falaise which gave the English possession of the castles
Berwick, Jedburgh, Edinburgh, and
1189 the castle returned to Scottish hands when Richard the
Lionheart terminated the agreement in return for 10,000 silver
marks. However over the next couple of centuries the castle changed
hands several times as a result of border wars between Scotland and
England, and in 1409 Jedburgh Castle, by now a stone structure, was
demolished by the Scots to prevent it being occupied again by the
The site was later used for Jedburgh's gallows, and
later still became overgrown with trees. In 1823 the last remains of
the castle were removed and a jail was built. This operated until
1886, and it is now run as Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum
See: Dunbars Vs Douglas
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