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Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Event ID 561264

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Accessing Scotland's Past Project


Hume Castle occupies one of the highest and most dominant sites in the region, commanding views across the Merse and towards the English borderlands. The existing structure is of largely eighteenth-century date, built around the fragmentary remains of a medieval stronghold.

First mentioned in the twelfth century, the castle was the seat of the powerful Home family. The natural outcrop of rock on which it stood is precipitous at the north-west side, so most of its man-made defences are on the southern flanks

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the English besieged the castle no less than four times. During the first of these sieges, it was Lady Home who was required to defend her home and it only fell when the attackers began to hang her young son within her view. The castle was reportedly destroyed in 1651, after it fell to Cromwell's troops.

Though rebuilt as a folly in the eighteenth century, the castle resumed a military role during the Napoleonic wars, when it became the site of a signalling beacon. A nation-wide panic almost ensued when an accidental fire in Northumberland was spotted and misinterpreted. In World War II, an observation post was also located here.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

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