Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Carberry Tower (Lothian) - Past and Present

Carberry Tower

Carberry Tower c 1900. Altered wing to the right. Note sloped parapet pieced for gun loop

Carberry is situated some three miles from the seaside town of Musselburgh. It dates from many periods but the nucleus is a massively strong tower of the early 16th century with a late 16th century extension. It is vaulted with walls 7-ft thick and rises to battlemented parapet corbelled out on charming winged cherubs.

Between 1760 and 2008 there were a series of improvements which has resulted in the castle giving little impression of age. In 1961 it was bequeathed to the Church of Scotland which used the tower as a conference centre. In 2011 it was turned into a hotel and was the venue of the Scottish Castles Association Christmas Dinner in 2013.

Carberry Tower 2012

Carberry Tower 2012. Now a hotel. SCA member Annick McGarrigle in foreground

The Battle of Carberry 1567

Carberry is famous in Scottish history as the site of the Battle of Carberry which terminated the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. The following is taken from the information board in the castle grounds:

Battle of Carberry

Battle of Carberry 1567 - Queen Mary surrenders and is led away on horseback

Mary and Bothwell mustered an army of 2,000-3,000 men on this hilltop to fight The Lords of the Congregation. Their armies were evenly matched and neither would risk an engagement. Eventually a single combat was arranged between Bothwell and Lord Lindsay. At the last moment Mary forbade it and negotiated her own surrender while Bothwell escaped to his castle at Dunbar. Mary was taken prisoner and taken to Loch Leven Castle where she was forced to abdicate.

Added: 26 May 2014 Updated: 28 Nov 2018
Related articles (20)
  Member Comments

? You are not currently signed in. Please sign in below.Comment Rules

Add your comment

We'd love to hear your views. If you are a Scottish Castles Association member, please sign in below and share them with us.

(required field)
Please verify that you are not a robot.
Comments found: (0)

Presently, there are no comments posted for this record!

back to topTop

Our corporate members...

Visit our Skills and Trades Section