Live like an earl at Thirlestane

The living room of the Earl and Countess apartment.at Thirlestane Castle
The living room of the Earl and Countess apartment.at Thirlestane Castle

The latest milestone in the restoration of Thirlestane Castle is the opening of five apartments in the south wing for short breaks.

Work on the five star luxury apartments is part of the restoration project which follows a devastating outbreak of dry rot in 2012. The castle was closed to the public for 18 months while this was treated, part of it re-opening in 2015.

A delightful children's bedroom in the Earl and Countess apartment at Thirlestane Castle.

A delightful children's bedroom in the Earl and Countess apartment at Thirlestane Castle.

Each apartment in the south wing has been individually designed and lovingly restored with an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture and original items from the castle collections including family portraits, furniture, personal photographs and smaller items to provide a link with the castle’s history and family.

Thirlestane Castle is run by a charitable trust and these new apartments are part of the trustee’s sustainability plan to protect the castle for the future.

Edward Maitland-Carew, resident trustee said: “We are so excited to be able to unveil these new apartments after many months of work to convert them from their former uses. Having the ability to accommodate groups of up to sixteen people in high-quality accommodation will mean that many more people are able to come and share this beautiful corner of the Scottish Borders.”

The apartments have been named to reflect their individual heritage and items included.

The Maitland takes its name from the family that has lived in the castle for over 400 years. This was also the former castle laundries which is alluded to by the classic Singer sewing machines in the apartment’s hallway.

The Lauderdale reflects the castle’s role as the historic home of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale and the family tartan is used throughout the bedroom.

Glenburnie is named after both the moor behind the castle and the horse bred by the Maitland-Carew family that became a three-day eventing European Champion. An original range from 1840 was unearthed during the building work and now forms a focal point in the sitting room.

The Sculleries was once where the castle’s china and clothes were cleaned and the mangle in the hallway nods to this former use.

And the Earl and Countess were the private quarters of the 14th Earl and Countess of Lauderdale and their crest can be found on the fireplace in the sitting room of this apartment.

The wallpaper panels in the sitting room are a reproduction of an antique tapestry and are reflected in a large gilt mirror that until recently hung in the castle’s state drawing room.