Ferniehirst Castle

Scotland, Ferniehirst Castle, 1875.

Scotland, Ferniehirst Castle, 1875.

Ferniehirst Castle, seat of Clan Kerr is an L-shaped construction on the east bank of the Jed Water, about a mile and a half south of Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, and in the former county of Roxburghshire.

The castle was built to hold the gate for Scotland and to serve as a base for military raids and cattle-lifting forays. The position of the castle overseas the road to Otterburn and Newcastle, but the castle itself inconspicuous, concealed by frees and by the lie of the land. The castle is functional rather than built for a show of money, therefore not many home comforts.

The oldest part of the Castle date back to the late 15th Century are the vaulted chambers on the ground floor, these would have been used for storage and the domestic area known as Kerr Kitchen. This connected to all the other areas of the building by a left handed staircase. Outside was a detached building known as the chapel, but in a forties house such as this a chapel would have been inside. So it is thought rather than being a chapel, this small building may have been a stable, or additional sleeping if there were large armies that needed to stay. The Laird’s family slept in a private apartment called ‘The Family Apartment’ on the upper floor.

Ferniehirst for the past 50 years has been a youth hostel.


Blogs about Ferniehirst Castle

Diagram of the Clan Kerr staircase

Left Handed Clan Kerr and The Reverse Spiral Staircase

The use of spiral staircases in medieval castles served as clever defence systems. They were almost always built with the ...
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Clans connected with Ferniehirst Castle

Clan Kerr