Branxholme Castle

History & Heritage
The ancient stronghold of the Scotts of Buccleuch which stands on a high bank above the Teviot begun its life as a Border pele-tower
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About Branxholme Castle

The ancient stronghold of the Scotts of Buccleuch which stands on a high bank above the Teviot begun its life as a Border pele-tower. It was originally part of the Barony of Hawick and belonged in its time to the Baliols and the Comyns as well as the Lovels and the Douglases. It became a Scott of Buccleuch possession in 1420 and was the family’s chief residence until 1756. Branxholme was at the height of its power in the 16th Century and was at the centre of many exploits celebrated in the Border ballads. It was burned and sacked in 1514, 1533, 1545 and 1570. It was the home of the legendary Bold Buccleuch, the Warden of the Scottish Middle March and the most renowned warrior of his time who masterminded the raid on Carlisle Castle to rescue Kinmont Willie Armstrong in 1596 which nearly led to a war between England and Scotland. King James VI sent Buccleuch to London to pacify the incensed Queen Elizabeth and made his famous remark in response to her asking him how he had dared, “Madam, what is there that a brave man dare not do?” Turning to her courtiers she said “With 10,000 such men our brother of Scotland might shake any throne in Europe”.
“The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all;
Knight and page, and household squire,
Loiter’d through the lofty hall,
Or crowded round the ample fire;
The stag-hounds, weary with the chase,
Lay stretch’d upon the rushy floor,
And urged, in dreams, the forest race,
From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor.
Nine-and-twenty knights of fame
Hung their shields in Branksome-Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all;
They were all knights of mettle true,
Kinsmen of the Bold Buccleuch.”
- from “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” by Sir Walter Scott

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