hermitage castle

Mary Queen of Scots at Hermitage Castle
in the Scottish Borders

crossed swords
Turner's engraving of Hermitage Mary and Bothwell

In 1566 James Hepburn, the Fourth Earl of Bothwell, lay wounded in this remote stronghold after a local skirmish. Here he was visited by his lover Mary, Queen of Scots, who rode over the wild and dangerous hills from Jedburgh and back in one day, a distance of about 40 miles.

Exhausted when she returned, she lay in a fever for some weeks in a house in Jedburgh, now known as Mary, Queen of Scots House, until she recovered.

J.M.W.Turner, the great landscape painter, visited Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford, his home near Melrose in 1831. He painted many watercolours of Border abbeys and castles including one of Hermitage Castle.

Under his supervision these watercolours were later made into engravings(above right) and published in book form.

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