Discover the Hidden Treasures of Gifford

Gifford really started as a small little settlement which sprang up around Yester Castle and which was called the village of Yester. This settlement was later moved a bit further away to its present location roughly a mile south east of Yester Castle. The new settlement was named ‘Gifford’ after the family who lived in the castle and had the village moved. One of the most outstanding aspects of the town is its picture-perfect attractiveness. All the buildings are well maintained and the towns-folk clearly take pride in their homes and businesses. The two most famous people to have originated from here are John Knox and John Witherspoon.

Gifford’s history started in 1267 when Yester Castle was built as a home for Sir Hugo Gifford. Sir Gifford was said to be a wizard and the castle’s dungeon was known as Goblin Hall after which a hotel (Goblin Ha) in Gifford is still named today. Whether Goblin Hall was built with magic or not, the fact is that a small little village soon sprang up around Yester Castle. The village and castle went hand in hand until the early 1700s when the Gifford family decided it was time for a change. In an attempt to increase their privacy, they had the village of Yester moved to Gifford’s current location. They gave the new settlement the family name of Gifford and the village of Yester became obsolete. Only a short while later in 1750 the family also had a manor home built which they named Yester House. They later abandoned the castle completely to live in the house which made the removal of the village somewhat unnecessary.

Today you will find that Gifford is a somewhat sleepy little village that begs to be explored. You will find little treasures in the city, such as the plaque commemorating John Witherspoon near the church, the Tweedale Arms Hotel or the friendly little Goblin Ha Hotel. The Yester Parish Church is also interesting with its T-plan and sharp spire. So make a stop at the small village of Gifford and discover this picturesque little Scottish treasure.


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