Dalhousie Castle – A Luxury Hotel
Since 1972 Dalhousie Castle is a luxury hotel that stands on acres of forest, parkland and river pasture. The Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa combines colorful history with ultimate luxury. Fifteen of the twenty nine bedrooms in the Castle have historical themes, including the Robert the Bruce and the De Ramseia suite.
Dalhousie Castle was in the possession of the Dalhousie family longer than most families have held a castle in Scotland. Dalhousie Castle is eight miles south of Edinburgh, in Cockpen, and was built originally in the 13th century. Only the vaults and voluminous walls at the foundation remain of that original castle. What we see today was mostly built in 1450 as an L plan keep surrounded by an outer curtain wall.
It stands on the banks of the South Esk and was built of red stone quarried from the opposite bank of the river. Many additions and changes were made over the centuries to the 15th century structure but its four storey inner keep, a courtyard enclosed by a high curtain wall and a large flanking drum tower can still be seen clearly. The drum tower has a well at ground level with potable water even today. A dry moat surrounds the castle and it was accessed by a drawbridge.
In the early 17th century, the 1st Earl of Dalhousie constructed a structure between the tower and the curtain wall. A mural staircase led from the banqueting hall to the vaults and a spiral stair leading from the first floor to the top of the bottle dungeon.
James, the only Marquis of Dalhousie was the youngest Governor General of India at the age of 33 and the castle has an India Bedroom in his honor. Dalhousie has been witness to many major events in history. Edward I, King of England, stayed here, Oliver Cromwell occupied the castle in 1648 and used it as a strategic base and Queen Victoria visited it in 1842 during her grand Scottish Tour.
Dalhousie Castle was leased to a series of tenants, including a private boarding school, before it became a hotel.