Borders: About 7 miles west of Kelso, 2 miles north-east of St Boswells, on minor road south of B6404, just north of the River Tweed, at or near Mertoun House.
Ruin or site NT 618318 OS: 74 TD6 0EA
OPEN: House not open; gardens open Apr-Sep, Fri-Mon 14.00-18.00 (last entry 17.30).
Site of castle, marked on Blaeu’s map of Berwickshire as ‘Mertoun Tour’. This was replaced by what is now known as Old Mertoun House, a two-storey harled building of 1677, which may stand on the
site of the tower and is in the 3-acre walled garden. There is a well-preserved round doocot, dated 1576.
Mertoun House, built in 1702 and designed by Sir William Bruce, was altered and extended in 1843 by William Burn and again in 1912, although these extensions were demolished in the 1950s.
The castle was built by the Halyburtons, who held the property in the 15th century. The property passed to the Scotts of Harden, Lords Polwarth from 1835, who held the property from 1672, or earlier, until 1912. Mertoun is now held by the Duke of Sutherland, while Old Mertoun House is used as the head gardener’s house.
Mertoun Gardens consist of 26 acres of beautiful grounds with fine walks, river views, impressive trees, herbaceous borders, and flowering shrubs.