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Hermitage Castle

Hermitage Castle

Hermitage Castle

Hermitage Castle

Photograph Hermitage Castle Scotland

Hermitage Castle. Photographic Print of Hermitage Castle. from AWL Discover

Hermitage Castle, Near Newcastleton, in the Scottish Borders.

The oldest part of Hermitage Castle dates back to the early 13th century and was built to repel marauding English bands who were very active at that time. Hermitage Castle has several ghosts.

One of them is that of Sir Alexander Ramsey, Sheriff of Tevitdale, who was tricked into visiting the castle on the pretext of spending time with his old friend Sir William Douglas, in 1342. The noble sheriff was set upon and thrown into the dungeon where he was left to die of starvation. In the early part of the 19th century a mason broken down the walls of what by then was the sealed up dungeon and discovered a skeleton and a rusty sword. Even today, heart-rending cries for help are heard coming from the dungeon together with groans and blood-curdling screams.

Hermitage Castle was also the home of Lord Soulis, better known as "Bad Lord Soulis", an enthusiastic black magician who used the black arts to perpetrate many terrible deeds. His favourite past-time seems to have been abducting young children from the neighbourhood and keeping them in the dungeon, probably the same dungeon where Sir Alexander was later to die, until he required them for his foul ceremonies. Following the massacre of Cout of Keilder and his party, after treacherously inviting them to a banquet at Hermitage, and further disappearances of local children, the local people petitioned Robert the Bruce to "dispose of him". Robert, already extremely annoyed at the stories he had heard about the happenings at Hermitage, agreed and joyfully the locals marched up to the castle, seized the evil lord and dragged him to a spot known as Nine Stones Rig, clapped in irons. There they boiled him in a vat of molten lead. The ghost of "Bad Lord Soulis" has been seen many times accompanied by his trusted servant Robin Redcap and sounds of demonical laughter have been heard at night in the deserted ruin.

As a castle with such a history of violence and bloodshed it not surprising that many different ghosts have been seen there. One, said to wear a beautiful white dress could be that of Mary, Queen of Scots, who certainly stayed at Hermitage for a short period.


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