Dirleton Castle | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Dirleton Castle

Dirleton, Scotland, United Kingdom

About Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle was an imposing medieval fortress and noble residence, which is now a picturesque ruin not far from Edinburgh.

First built in the thirteenth century by royal steward John de Vaux, Dirleton Castle became the home of the de Vauxes, under whose ownership it was severely damaged and captured on several occasions in the Wars of Independence.

Dirleton Castle would go on to become home to two further noble families, the Haliburtons (circa 1365) and the Ruthvens (circa 1510), each of whom made changes and additions. The Haliburtons left behind some fascinating ruins, including a chapel and an ominous dungeon.

The life of Dirleton Castle as a defensive structure ended in 1650, when it was devastated by the siege of Oliver Cromwell and it was abandoned altogether not long thereafter upon the demise of the Ruthven family.

Now on land owned by the Nisbet family, Dirleton Castle offers a great deal to see. Amongst its highlights are its several towers, some of which were built in the 1240s, making them amongst Scotland’s oldest castle remains. Dirleton Castle is also home to one of the country’s best preserved pigeon houses.