Borders: About 3.5 miles east of Ettrick, on minor road south of B711, near the Rankle Burn, at Buccleuch.
Ruin or site NT 328143 OS: 79 TD9 7NQ
Site of strong 16th-century castle of the Scotts, on the site of an earlier stronghold. The extensive foundations were unearthed with the building of the farmhouse in 1832, but there are now no remains. ‘Buckcleuch’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of Tweeddale.
The property was held by the Scotts from the 14th century, and this was their main residence until they moved to Branxholme. Sir Michael Scott of Buccleuch fought at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, but was killed at the Battle of Durham in 1346. The Scotts supported James II against the Douglases at the Battle of Arkinholm in 1455 and were rewarded with lands. The place was raided, robbed and burnt in the 1490s. The castle was torched in 1544 by the English under the Earl of Hertford.
The Scotts killed several of the Kerrs of Cessford in 1526 during a long-running and bloody feud, and Walter Scott of Buccleuch was murdered by the Kerrs in the High Street of Edinburgh in 1552. Walter Scott of Buccleuch rescued ‘Kinmont’ Willie Armstrong from Carlisle Castle in 1596.
The Lordship of Buccleuch was created in 1606 for Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch. The 2nd Lord was made Earl in 1612, and then a Dukedom was created in 1663 for James, Duke of Monmouth, on his marriage to Anna, Countess of Buccleuch. He was executed for leading a rebellion in 1685, and she was made Duchess in her own right. She died in 1732.
The Dukes of Buccleuch went on to inherit much other property, and still own Drumlanrig Castle, Bowhill (with Newark Castle), and Dalkeith Palace, as well as Boughton House in Northamptonshire in England.