Thirlestane Castle is a truly Scottish castle, steeped in history and seen as one of the ‘Greatest Houses of Scotland’. Thirlestane dates back to the 13th century. Originally built as a defensive fort, Thirlestane has evolved over the years, with the Maitland family rebuilding it into a home in 1590.
The Duke of Lauderdale extended the castle in the 1670s creating the grand staircase and embellishing the rooms with intricate plasterwork leading to the grandeur seen in the rooms today. It was further refurbished in 1840 by David Bryce and William Burn but sympathetically to its historic features.
The Maitland family arrived in Britain with William the Conqueror in 1066 making them one of the most famous and established families. They were united with the Thirlestane family in 1250 when Avicia, daughter of Thomas du Thirlestane married Sir Richard Maitland. From then on the Thirlestane lands have remained in the Maitland family and are to this day. The second Earl of Lauderdale, John Maitland, was particularly important in Scottish history. He became the Secretary of State for Scotland after the Restoration and so had an enormous amount of power and influence over Scotland.
With such an extensive history, Thirlestane Castle has accumulated a wide selection of family portraits and busts. With its 102 rooms, the interior is both grand and eclectic. Explore the family treasures such as weapons dating from 1745 in the entrance hall. Children can discover the historic toys that remain in the old nurseries. You can also visit the gift shop and tea room. Thirlestane Castle has an assortment of things going on such as open-air theatre. What better setting is there, than this?
Take a walk around the woodland and visit the adventure playground. Meanwhile admire the fairy-tale like outside of this castle, with its red brick towers and iconic turrets.