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Midhope Castle

Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Midhope Castle

Classification Tower House (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Midhope House

Canmore ID 49168

Site Number NT07NE 5

NGR NT 07283 78685

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Abercorn (West Lothian)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

Midhope, from 16th century

Midhope's long, rectangular, tenement-like appearance dates from the 1678 re-casting and extension of the 16th-century château. John Hope removed a southern entrance tower, raised the eastern wing with its pre Binns-like plasterwork, extended it with two bays of regular-margined windows, a pilastered corner and panelled chimneystacks, added a new entrance doorway, with its splendid cartouche, a new internal stair and a fine new courtyard entrance. The turrets, as in Ochiltree, are ashlar gazebos - here two storeys high. Consolidation by William A Cadell in 1986. Doocot and estate buildings adjacent.

Taken from "West Lothian: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Stuart Eydmann, Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NT07NE 5.00 07283 78685

NT07NE 5.01 07160 78668 Farm

NT07NE 5.02 07396 78597 Gateway

NT07NE 5.03 07281 78618 Open-ended vault

NT07NE 5.04 07276 78642 Formal Garden

NT07NE 14.00 07359 78611 Dovecot

(NT 0729 7868) Midhope (NR)

OS 6" map (1967)

Midhope Castle, a late 16th century tower, is 5 storeys and an attic high, with later extensions a storey lower. It forms the N side of a courtyard, measuring 114' x 61' which is entered from the E through an ashlared 17th century gateway. The two extensions, added to the E side of the original keep, date from the 17th century. In 1926, the castle was occupied, sub-divided into dwellings for estate workers. However,

in 1962, it is described as derelict and fast decaying.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1926; N Tranter 1962

An outstanding building as described. Although not a total ruin it is not being cared for.

Visited by OS (JLD) 19 January n1953 and (JP) 27 March 1974

During consolidation of the castle remains and clearance of decayed wood, a series of wall paintings became visible. One was on the second floor of the central room. It occupied the N half of the E wall face. It was a trompe l'oeil of a room with black and white checkered floor tiles, blue walls and arches. The top part was eroded and indistinct. The other was over the fireplace of the E wall in the tower-house, on the first floor. This was of two red hunting dogs leaping over the fireplace.

Both the Hopetoun Estate and the RCAHMS were informed. No action was taken and these paintings have been lost.

In the ground south of the castle, an extensive well laid cobbled surface was located.

Sponsor: Hopetoun Estate

J K Reid 1989; G Egan 1990

Architecture Notes


Owner: Marquess of Linlithgow


NMRS Printroom

W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection Acc no 1997/39

exterior - 3 views


Photographic Survey (July 1962)

Photographs of Midhope Castle, West Lothian, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1962.

Photographic Survey (June 1964)

Photographic survey in June 1964 likely by the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works.


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