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The Scottish Castles Association
Preserving the Past for the Future

Ochiltree Castle - West Lothian

Ochiltree Castle

Ochiltree Castle

Ochiltree Castle is a 16th century L plan tower house, which has been occupied more or less continuously since it was built. The present building was probably built in two stages as part of the development of a previous structure (Ochiltree Place) – most likely a two storey hall-house built around a central courtyard, only fragments of which remain.

It was owned by various branches of the Stirling (originally called de Strivelyn) family from about 1100 to 1715 when their lands were forfeited for participating in the Jacobite rebellion. The older, 4-storey, part probably dates from 1520-30 while the north wing extension (which has 3 storeys) was built in the early 17th century, at which time significant changes to the original structure were also made. The coats of arms of Sir Alexander Stirling and his wife Dame Grisel Ross (whose money may have made that 'modernisation' possible) are on pediments above the west door. The original features include two bartizans of unequal height, a vaulted entrance and kitchen, some old fireplaces, a laird's lug, and beams on the ceilings in a number of rooms.

It was owned by the Earls of Roseberry and occupied by tenant farmers from 1750 – 1981, when it had begun to fall into disrepair. Successive private owners since then have tried to keep its historical character while making it into a comfortable family home.

This is a Private Home, and is not open to the general public.
Location: West Lothian, about 3 miles south east of Linlithgow on a minor road.

Date posted: 01 Nov 2011Last updated: 03 Aug 2015

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Default: Earliest comments appear first Comments found: (2)
Comment by: Heather McArthur on Tue, 13th Oct 2015, 1:56 amRef id: 70

My grandmother, Margaret (Robertson) McArthur, was born in this castle in 1920. Her family were tenant farmers at Ochiltee castle for over 100 years. She is the daughter of Thomas Robertson and Marion Hook and grand-daughter of Robert Robertson and Janet Miller. My cousin went to the gate of the castle this summer but could not get in to see inside. I wonder if there truly is a hidden tunnel ....

Comment by: Alexander J R Macdonald on Tue, 10th Nov 2015, 8:36 pmRef id: 76

My great-grandfather James Y Robertson was a brother of Robert Robertson who was born at Ochiltree castle. I would be interested in communicating with Heather McArthur re the family history of the Robertsons of Ochiltree Castle

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