Halloween Haunting: The Hideous History of the Hermitage Castle

Halloween Haunting: The Hideous History of the Hermitage Castle

It is Halloween and what better than a story about a sinister Scottish castle, its ghosts, its legends, and its blood-soaked history? Not referring to Glamis Castle with its notorious secret chamber containing the walled-up remains of a hideous monster; coincidentally the ancestor of the current Queen of England; but rather Hermitage Castle in Liddersdale, located in the Borders region between England and Scotland and linked to the Queen of Scotland.

Notable figures in the first Scottish War of Independence: Frieze in the entrance hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Notable figures in the first Scottish War of Independence: Frieze in the entrance hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (CC BY-SA 3.0)

William de Soulis - Betraying Robert the Bruce

The original castle was built by the Anglo-Norman De Soulis (or De Soules) family in the late 12th to early 13th century. Their hold on the Hermitage ended abruptly in 1321 when William de Soulis, who had already switched sides once from fighting for King Edward of England against the Scots, to backing King Robert the Bruce of Scotland against the English (his change of heart followed the Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314), was accused of plotting a rebellion against the Bruce.


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