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Tantallon Castle

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Tantallon Castle is a ruined fortress that features a well-constructed curtain wall designed to create a barrier between the mainland and the headland. It has a tower at either end of the wall and a solid central gatehouse. The curtain wall is approximately 15 metres (49 ft) high, 3.6 metres (12 ft) thick, and around 90 metres (300 ft) in length. The remaining three sides of the castle were protected by significant sea cliffs and did not need large defensive walls. The buildings are largely constructed of red sandstone from local quarries. Tantallon Castle is a ruined fortress that features a well-constructed curtain wall designed to create a barrier between the mainland and the headland. It has a tower at either end of the wall and a solid central gatehouse. The curtain wall is approximately 15 metres (49 ft) high, 3.6 metres (12 ft) thick, and around 90 metres (300 ft) in length. The remaining three sides of the castle were protected by significant sea cliffs and did not need large defensive walls. The buildings are largely constructed of red sandstone from local quarries.

It is located on a natural headland overlooking Bass Rock island and the Firth of Forth – a stretch of sea separating East Lothian from the Kingdom of Fife. Tantallon castle is in the historic county of East Lothian and is some 35 kilometres (22 miles) northeast of Edinburgh close to the town of North Berwick. It was originally constructed on the orders of William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas around 1360AD Historians believe the castle was built to mark his recent elevation in both power and status. Given the effort put into creating the last curtain wall castle in Scotland, it is fair to say that the castle was also intended to play a defensive role from the start.

The castle was passed down to George Douglas who became head of the ‘Red Douglases’. Over the centuries the castle saw significant conflict including action during the War of the Rough Wooing (1543 – 1550) and the Bishops’ War of 1639. It was largely destroyed by the forces of Oliver Cromwell in 1651 during the Third English Civil War. It was never rebuilt and has remained officially uninhabited since this time.

Tantallon Castle features in Sir Walter Scott’s famous poem ‘Marmion’ and is described as: ‘Tantallon, vast, broad, massive high and stretching far and held impregnable in war;’

STRANGE BUT TRUE:

In 2009, Tantallon castle appeared in the newspapers in connection with a photograph that depicted what can only be described as a ghost. It is considered one of the best examples of photographic proof of the paranormal and experts generally agree that the image is original and has not been manipulated.

DON’T MISS:

Exceptional views of the Firth of Forth from the Tantallon headland. Located in the East Tower is an exact replica of the type of cannon that defenders of Tantallon would have used against James IV in 1491 and James V in 1528 when the castle was besieged. The stone curtain wall which makes Tantallon one of the best medieval castles in all of Scotland.

NEAREST CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB SITE

dunbar-bay-campsiteDunbar

Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Just Off the A1097 (Rd), Oxwellmains, Dunbar
East Lothian, Scotland, EH42 1WG
+44 (0)1368 866 881
www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

Contact Details

  • Address: Tantallon Road, Aulhame, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, EH39 5PN
  • GPS: 56.05556111,-2.651802778
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1620 892 727
  • Part of UK: Scotland
  • Sat Nav Postcode: EH39 5PN
  • Entrance Fees: Yes
  • Disabled Access: Fair
  • Visibility from Road: Moderate (From Car park)

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