Dalhousie Castle History

Discover this historical castle hotel

The Dungeon Restaurant offers guests award winning dining, in a setting from the 13th Century.

Luxurious accommodation

21st Century indulgence

Today, the Castle boasts luxurious accommodation, fine dining and is a perfect venue for special events.

700 years in the making

700 years in the making

Woven tapestries, historical armour and original masonry adorn the interior.

History continued...

His son Alexander who became a renowned figure succeeded William. The Scottish chronicler, John Fordun, wrote of Sir Alexander “in his brave deeds of arms and in bodily strength he surpassed all others of his day”. During these times the English had regained the incentive in the war with the Scots and were in the possession of many of the Scottish castles including Dalhousie.

Sir Alexander formed a band of loyal knights, and mass troopers, and organised raids on the English. By the year 1342 most of the castles and occupied areas were captured and David II of Scotland was able to return from France.

By Easter of that year only Roxburghe Castle remained in the hands of the English. The titular constable of Roxburghe Castle was Sir William Douglas, who had made a number of unsuccessful attempts to retake it. On the eve of Easter, Sir Alexander and his followers scaled the walls and surprised the occupants who were celebrating the feast. King David II delighted at ridding Scotland of the last of the English, rewarded Sir Alexander de Ramsay by appointing him constable of Roxburgh and Sheriff of Teviotdale. These appointments aroused strong feelings of jealousy in Sir Alexander’s former friend Sir William Douglas who, exacted revenge by seizing Alexander in May 1342, at Hawick and carried him off to Hermitage Castle. Sir Alexander was incarcerated in a dungeon and was left to starve.

Fordun records Sir William Ramsay of the Dalhousie as having defeated the English at Nisbet Moor in 1355. In 1400 a later Sir Alexander Ramsay withstood a 6 months siege at Dalhousie laid by King Henry IV of England. Dalhousie proved to be the last castle in Scotland to be besieged by an English king in person. However, Sir Alexander himself was killed 2 years later at Homildon Hill, a battle mentioned in Shakespeare's Henry IV (part 1). His great great grandson, also Alexander, was slain at Flodden in 1513. When Mary Queen of Scots escaped from her imprisonment at Loch Leven, and raised her standard, the Laird of Dalwolsey is mentioned by chroniclers as one of those who met her at Hamilton and fought for her at Langside.

The family received Royal recognition in 1618 through a charter granting Sir George Ramsay of Dalhousie, his initials can be seen on the wall of the keep. His brother John was a favourite of King James VI of Scotland. In 1600 this John saved the Kings life by killing the Earl of Gowrie, who in the famous “Gowrie Conspiracy” was plotting to kidnap the King. As a reward John was granted the titles of Earl of Holderness and Vicount Haddington by King James. In 1633 George's son William was raised to Earl of Dalhousie and Lord Ramsay of Keringtoun. Eight years later he appears to have changed his allegiance for he fought on the side of the Parliamentarians in the civil war, and commanded a regiment of horse at Marston Moors in 1614. Cromwell himself spent sometime at the Castle, using it as his lowland headquarters, with dispatches dated from there in October 1648.

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