Barony Castle

The History Of Barony Castle

LocationEddleston, County of Peebles, Scotland (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byMercure Group
Official WebsiteBarony Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Stay, Events, Weddings)

Barony Castle, also known as Blackbarony or Black Barony, and Darnhall, is a historic house at Eddleston within the Scottish borders. The castle is presently operated as a hotel and is protected as a Category B listed building.


The earliest known building on the site of Barony Castle was a fortified house dating back to the early 15th century. It was one of a dozen such castles in the Eddleston Valley. The Towers served as an essential defence during the lawless times when attacks could come from invading English or from Reiving clans. In 1506, John Murray of Fallahill was granted the estate of Haltoun by King James IV and given the title Laird of Blackbarony, also called Barony Castle. After Sir John died at Flodden in 1513, his son Andrew acquired the estate and title and set his sights on the neighbouring property of Darnhall. 

In 1536, a Scots baronial-style building was erected on the site of the old peel tower, which retained the name of Darnhall. Towards the end of the 16th century, Sir John Murray of Blackbarony took the task of enclosing his fields with stone walls following the last Reiver raid in the area in 1581. This earned him the nickname “John the Dyker.” The remains of a 16th-century tower house form the oldest part of the building, built by the Murrays of Blackbarony.

The house was expanded in the 18th century, resulting in the present Barony Castle. Black Barony was inherited by the Murrays of Elibank in 1771, who maintained ownership of the barony until 1930. Further enlargements were made in the 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th century, the house was converted to hotel use. However, during the Second World War, the Castle was requisitioned for military service, and in 1942, it became The Polish Higher Military School used for staff officer training. As of 2012, the Mercure Group operates the hotel, part of Accor Hotels.


Barony Castle
Barony Castle, by Jim Barton, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0  

The earliest structure remains as a 16th-century tower house, which was altered and extended sometime between 1700 and 1715. Extensive alterations and additions within the past thirty years to adapt the castle for use as a hotel. The tower consists of the main block, with an irregularly-shaped northeast wing, including a turnpike stair. Later developments have covered the defensive qualities of the site. However, in the beginning, the tower evidently occupied a commanding position. The main block of the tower has been significantly altered to obscure its original character.

Barony Castle Hotel offers 82 bedrooms featuring single, double as well as Family Rooms and Junior & Superior Suites. The bedrooms offer all comforts of a home and a child-friendly environment. Every room is unique, with varying picturesque views of the surrounding castle estate, gardens, and glen.

Barony Castle spa includes a 10-meter pool with a whirlpool bath, sauna, heated loungers, and two beauty treatment rooms. Barony Castle Weddings in the castle courtyard or at the Altar located at the food of Yew Tree Avenue provide couples with the best on their special day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Barony Castle?

Barony Castle Hotel is situated in the village of Eddleston near Peebles in the Scottish Borders and is approximately 35 minutes from Edinburgh City bypass.

Who owns Barony Castle hotel?

Barony Castle Hotel has been owned since 2012 by the Mercure Group, part of Accor Hotels. 

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