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Cousland Castle

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Cousland Castle is a ruined 16th-century tower house about 2.5 miles north east of Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, south of Cousland. Alternative names are, Cousland Nunnery; Cousland House; Chapeldyke.

Contents

History

Excavation in 2007-2008 suggests that the castle was probably built by the Ruthven lords in the late 15th century. Afterwards they built a residence. The Confederate Lords gathered there in 1567, perhaps with Mary, Queen of Scots. The tower house belonged successively to the Sinclairs, the MacGills and the Dalrymples. In 1547 the English, led by Protector Somerset burned the village.

Structure

The castle was a tower house with a vaulted basement. Remains at this site include a 224 foot square enclosure, the wall being walls 2 feet 10inches thick; this is believed to originate in the 17th century. The ruinous 17th century house is the North East corner. Part of the structure that projects within the enclosure seems to be earlier than the structure parallel to and incorporated in the East wall. This older portion is a 30 foot wide structure, though the length and layout are unclear. There is some question whether there was a nunnery on the site. The walled garden dates from the early 18th century, using most of the castle stone, though the residence remained till after 1760. Though there is evidence of structures in the south field, these may be connected with later quarry works. Although the residence has been demolished, there are remains to the south which may provide evidence of the construction, layout and use.

References

Cousland Castle Wikipedia


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