Abercorn Castle

Abercorn Castle Details

Abercorn Castle, a now vanished castle of the Douglases on a promontory overlooking the Forth, destroyed by the Crown 1455

  • Closest To: Edinburgh, Queensferry, Bo'Ness, Linlithgow
  • Access: Chargeable Public Access
  • Grid Reference: NT083793

The site of Abercorn Castle lies within the grounds of Hopetoun House. Early site plans reveal a (probably landscaped) oval motte on high ground within that part of the estate known as The Wilderness, and although the summit of the site is largely clear of trees, much of it is overgrown.

Abercorn passed to the Douglas family in the reign of David II, and was their chief Lothian stronghold until the civil war with King James II in the 1450s. The culmination of this was a siege of the castle by the king involving a four week bombardment by artillery, The castle was badly damaged, and what was left was made indefensible at royal command. Forfeited to the crown, it may have been partially repaired by the crown in later days to use as a centre for the lordship in the 16th century, but the scope of building for this is unclear. Abercorn was eventually granted to the Hamilton family, and then passed to the Hopes, who built Hopetoun House towards the end of the 17th century.  Today it is possible to visit Abercorn by paying the Hopetoun House entry fee.

HES Canmore database entry
Official website for Hopetoun House

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