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See also other castles with Douglas connections.

Auchen castle


The original Scottish castle dates back to 1220 and was probably built by Sir Humphrey de Kirkpatrick when he was Senestal of Annandale.

The castle was in the form of a courtyard with unusual solid drum towers flanking the gate and the corner towers. Sometime in the early 1300ís the towers were rebuilt as hollow turrets with internal stairs.

Sir Roger de Kirkpatrick seemed to have been staunch in the English cause. It may have been his son who took part in the Comyn murder as a young man yet unknighted, though 150 years went by before any assassin was named.

The castle was later held by the Douglases of Morton, beofre passing to the Maitlands in the 15th century.

As the centuries passed, massive outer ramparts and curious underground passages and chambers were added to the castle and led to much puzzlement when discovered by historians. A wooden chalet with eight chimneys was also built and used to entertain guests after shoots.

The original castle is now in ruins next to what was the home farm for the next Auchen Castle, built by General Johnstone in 1849. Through marriage, Auchen Castle became the property of Sir William Younger.

Decades later, Auchen Castle has maintained many original features; one such feature is the Victorian spring water catchments and reservoirs that supply the hotel today.

When you walk though the castle grounds you will find many unusual species of trees and plants, some of which would have a rich history to tell if they only could.

Today the Scottish flag flies proudly over the building as if to welcome back old friends.

Auchen Castle Hotel has played host to some famous people over the years; The King of Norway, The Beatles, Barbara Cartland, Chris de Burgh, to name but a few.

The Scottish castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a child whom some visitors claim to have seen walking the corridors and descending the main staircase in the early hours of the morning. Others have seen a ghostly image playing in the formal gardens at twilight or early morning.

Location: NT 063035

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024