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Newark Castle



Newark Castle
Newark Castle, c1904
Standing in the grounds of Bowhill House, Newark Castle is a 15th century stone keep and courtyard fortress, founded by Archibald, Earl of Wigton. The castle replaced an 'auld wark' which stood to the east but the site is now lost in the designed landscape of Bowhill House. Newark was the main Douglas castle in the Ettrick Forest, which the Douglases were lords of.

Sited on a knoll, the massive rectangular tower house is of five storeys and a garret, with a corbelled-out parapet and two 16th century, two storey caphouses on opposing angles. It stands in the centre of a large 16th century quadrangular barmkin, which probably encased the entire summit of the knoll when first built. The enclosure is defended by numerous late 15th or early 16th century keyhole gunloops and was flanked by a gatehouse and small rectangular towers.

In 1455, the castle was kept by the Crown after Black Douglases downfall and in 1473 it was given to Margaret of Denmark, wife of King James III. It was besieged by English forces under Lord Gray of Wilton in 1547 and the following year the castle was burnt, it then fell to the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell in 1650.

Later it was used as a hunting lodge but in the mid 18th century, the accessible facing stone, which was roughly repaired in the 19th century, was removed from the unroofed tower.

The site is owned by the Buccleuch Heritage Trust and the castle must be viewed from the road.

Note: This is one of several Newark Castles.

newarkPhotograph: The Heritage Photographer


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024