After our fascinating visit to the Rosslyn Chapel, we went into town and had a very nice lunch in a local hotel. The place was packed with locals, so we shared a table with a family from Glasgow. What a blast, we could hardly understand a word of what they said their accents were so thick. It was nice to chat with some locals.
We left Roslin (yes it is a bit confusing as the town uses the modern spelling of Roslin while the chapel uses the more ancient form of Rosslyn), we headed for Borthwick Castle where we had booked our castle stay. It was only another 45 minutes drive away, but a little hard to find even with the GPS. [we are both very glad that we purchased the GPS as it has saved us a lot of yelling and arguments over navigational issues]
We drove through some beautiful rolling country to find the castle nestled in some trees beside a small creek. Borthwick is a small square keep with a small protective wall and gatehouse. It was build in the mid 15th Century having been sanctioned by the king in 1446. It is 185 feet tall, that is three floors of living space and the dungeon. It is accessed by way of an external winding staircase of 43 steps (Linda counted them on her way up) to a small doorway into the main level. The main level is occupied by the Great Hall and a small kitchen and one bedroom. The ceiling in the Great Hall is 30 feet high. A minstrel gallery opens up on the Hall some 20 feet up on one end. At the other end is the great fireplace that is most of the width of the room. Stained glass windows decorated the deep-set widows. A large fire was burning in a fire crib when we arrived, that helped take some of the chill out of the air. The Hall is decorated with faded tapestries, photographs, and various weapons and bits of armour. This is where all the meals are served.
Some 40 odd steps up a narrow winding spiral staircase is the State Room. Roughly the same size as the Great Hall, but with a flat wooden ceiling (only 20 feet high). Five deep-set windows allow light to spill into the room, augmented by 2 electric chandeliers. This is the room where Lord Borthwick would entertain Scottish Royalty when they visited. Now it is used to host functions like weddings and parties. Two large bedrooms are off of this room.
Up another winding set of spiral stairs, is the Barracks. The same size as the other two rooms, this room was used as sleeping room for the soldiers. Now it is used as a chapel for weddings. Two bedrooms are off of the main room on this level. One of the bedrooms is the Mary Queen of Scots room because that is there she stayed when she visited the castle.
We sat around in the Great Hall of the Castle until late on Sunday evening, enjoying the fire and the restful atmosphere - and glass of good whiskey. Then we retired to our beautiful bedroom, with its high ceiling and large four poster bed.