Roslin Castle

Castle

Site Name Roslin Castle

Classification Castle

Alternative Name(s) Rosslyn Castle; Old Roslin Castle

Canmore ID 51811

Site Number NT26SE 21

NGR NT 27475 62763

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Midlothian
  • Parish Lasswade
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District Midlothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT26SE 21.00 2748 6275 Castle

NT26SE 21.01 27454 62680 Garden

NT26SE 21.02 27500 62810 Bridge

(NT 2747 6278) Roslin Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1966)

Roslin Castle occupies a very strong position on a peninsula formed by the River Esk, allowing an approach only from the N where a deep cutting has been made and a bridge thrown over. The ruinous walls and foundations to N and W of the present buildings are all that remain of a great 15th century castle, seat of the St Clairs, formerly Princes and Earls of Orkney. The E block, still mainly entire, dates from the 16th century, although the upper storeys have been somewhat altered a century later. Oblong on plan, with a square tower projecting to the SE, it rises to five floors. The main entrance, at the third floor, at the level of the courtyard on the N side, is dated 1622.

The first keep is thought to have been built by Sir William St Clair in the 14 th century, the great SW tower being added by the second Earl of Orkney about 1390. This castle was partly destroyed by fire, accidentally, in 1452. A century later it was destroyed during the English invasion of Hertford, and again a hundred years afterwards by General Monk. A mob once again damaged it in 1688.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1920; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887; N Tranter 1962

Roslin Castle and the remains of Old Roslin Castle are as described.

Visited by OS (SFS) 30 October 1975

Scheduled as Rosslyn Castle.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 7 November 1995.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE:

Owner: The Earl of Roslin

Arch Assoc Sketch Book 1911 - 1 ink photo

EXTERNAL REFERENCE:

Scottish Record Office:

'The Old House', its poor condition.

Alteration to Mr Adam's plans followed by Col. St Clair's suggestion that John Baxteer should try a fresh plan. Letter from Col. St Clair of Roslin to Sir John Clerk.

1738-42 GD 18/5010

Repair of the roof of Roslin Castle and the pinning and harling of the West of the Castle. Payments to slater, mason, and wright.

Roslin accounts.

1791 GD 164/Box 79/832/1

Repair of the Castle Bridge.

Payment of #29.1.10 to Hugh and James Somerville, Masons.

Roslin Accounts.

1800 GD 164/Box 79/832/10

Repair of Roslin CAstle.

Payments for removing stones and rubbish coming from the part of the ruins o fthe castle blown over by the wind.

Repair of the Castle and the Castle Bridge.

Hugh Somerville, mason.

Roslin Accounts.

1807 GD 164/Box 79/832/17

Repair of the retaining wall at the entrance to the Bridge of Roslin Castle. Estimate of #15 from Thomas Thomson, mason, for rebuilding and extending the wall.

28th October.

1880 GD 164/Box 71/735/26

Drawings stored in Watford (see architectural catalogue Lothian/Midlothian R-Z). Measured and drawn by P.H. Douglas 1927 - details of main entrance, dining hall fireplace.

National Library - M.S.S. belonging to C.K. Sharpe (MS2510) p.13 - pencil sketch

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC28481- DC28482, 1928.

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