Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Seton House - Lothians

Seton House - On The Site Of Seton Palace
Seton House - on the site of Seton Palace

Site of castle, which was apparently a splendid palace after being rebuilt in the 16th century. The lands were acquired by the Setons in the 12th century, and the family were made Lords Seton in 1448. George, 3rd Lord Seton, was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

Seton Palace - Demolished In 1790
Seton Palace - As it was.

An older castle was destroyed by the English in 1544, and a new house - the Palace - was built on the site. George, 5th Lord Seton, was a supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, and she fled here after the murder of David Rizzio in 1566. She also visited with Bothwell after the assassination of Lord Darnley, her second husband. The following year, her army camped at the castle the night before defeat at Carberry Hill.

The Setons helped to rescue Mary from imprisonment in Lochleven Castle, after which she stayed at another of their properties, Niddry Castle.

Seton Palace - Lay In Ruins After Damage By Jacobite Troops In 1715
Seton Palace - Lay in ruins after damage by Jacobite troops in 1715

The family were made Earls of Winton in 1600. The house was damaged during the 1715 Jacobite Rising - having been held for three days by Highlanders against Hanovarian forces - after which the Setons were forfeited. The house was left a ruin and demolished in 1790, and a new mansion, designed by Robert Adam, built on the site.

A find collegiate church stands near the house. It was founded in 1490, although it was looted and burned by the English in 1544. The church is in the care of Historic Scotland and open to the public.

Wording taken from The Castles of Scotland Third Edition by Martin Coventry

Added: 18 Apr 2010 Updated: 14 Apr 2019
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