Floors Castle is famous for many reasons including the fact that it's the largest castle which is still lived in, in Scotland. Currently occupied by the 10th Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, it was originally designed by William Adam in 1721 for John Ker the first Duke of Roxburghe.
However in the 1830s the 6th Duke commissioned architect William Playfair to redesign the Georgian neoclassical castle. Playfair embellished the castle adding dramatic parapets and pepper pot angled turrets creating the imposing yet fairy-tale like castle we see today. Both the exterior and the interior of the castle have become more ornate. With intricate additions to the ceilings, fine porcelain and French furniture, you can’t help but admire the “palace” feeling of Floors Castle. Sir Walter Scott described Floors Castle as ‘a kingdom for Oberon and Titania to dwell in’.
Floors Castle has a colossal art collection including pieces from Raeburn, Gainsborough and Matisse. Another great addition is the 17th century Gobelin tapestries brought by the 8th Duchess May Goelott. These were hung in the ballroom and drawing room creating a sense of grandeur.
The dramatic look of Floors Castle makes it the perfect spot for filming and it was used in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. The grounds also have an intriguing background, with the area around Floors Castle being owned by the monks of Kelso Abbey in the Middle Ages. Moreover in 1460 James II of Scotland was supposedly killed by a cannon on these grounds during a siege of Roxburghe Castle.
The grounds of Floors Castle have evolved offering landscaped walks around the estate. You can visit the peaceful Victorian walled garden or the newer Millennium Garden, with a French Style Parterre, which includes the initials of the Duke and Duchess and the Roman Numerals for the Millennium. The grounds include the Queen’s House, which was commissioned for Queen Victoria to have afternoon tea. If you’re hungry, head for the deli shop and cafe, which has all sorts of condiments and hampers which can be enjoyed in a peaceful setting alongside the river Tweed.
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