Cavers Castle

Cavers Castle as it was in 1904.

Cavers Castle as it was in 1904.

The ruins of Cavers Castle lie near Hawick in the Borders.

The original castle was built by the Balliol family around 1200, but the lands passed to the Douglases in the 1350s when David II granted them the lands after the banished the Balliols from Scotland. Cavers Tower was built by Sir Archibald Douglas, 3rd Earl of Douglas, who died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388.

Cavers was attacked a number of times during the first half of the 16th century. In 1523, the fortress was razed by Earl Dacre, and then in 1542 it was attacked again by the English, with the help of rival clan the Scotts of Branxholme. Three years later the castle was burnt again, this time by the Earl of Hertford. However, the castle was rebuilt.

The lands remained in the possession of Clan Douglas up until 1878 when James Douglas died leaving no male heir. The property passed to Douglas’ niece, Mary Malcolm, who married Captain Edward Palmer the following year in 1879. The Palmers extensively remodelled and extended Cavers, turning it into more of a mansion house. Eventually, the house became disused, and was made available to the army to use for explosives exercises in 1953.

Clans connected with Cavers Castle

Clan Douglas

Clan Malcolm