Border Castles and Towers
Location: Ettrick Valley, near Selkirk
Thus is very fine 14th century peel tower restored in 1992 and the home of Lord and Lady Steel of Aikwood.
When the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, passed through the Borderland, the Laird of Oakwood was persuaded to join the prince's rabble army.
After their dreadful defeat at Culloden, all who had supported the Prince were hunted down remorselessly by the Hanoverian forces, but the young Laird was able to elude them and successfully made his way back to his home at Ettrick.
There he felt secure. He was among friends and he felt sure that they would not betray him.
However, in spite of every precaution, the
secret leaked out, and news of his whereabouts reached the ears of the
In the darkness, the blacksmith made out
the shapes of many mounted soldiers shuffling restlessly in the gloom.
the door on the troopers, the blacksmith slipped to the back of the house and
roused his apprentice and bade him go at once with all speed to Oakwood and warn
He led them through the night by devious routes and eventually arrived at Oakwood long after the laird had escaped to safety in the hills.
Map ref: 73 436 268
The present tower was
rebuilt about 1602.
Most displays in the tower refer to the tremendous restoration job which was carried out by the Steel family. Their achievements are truly awe inspiring!
There is an exhibition of the life and work of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. The tower has a haunted chamber known as the Jingler's Room.
There is also a small medieval garden, stocked with rare ancient plants, a car park and a small shop.
The tower and gardens are open May to September. Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.