newsnews & featuresbedrule castle to give up its secrets
The Campaign for a Scottish Borders National Park (CSBNP) has been awarded grants by Scottish Borders Council for exploratory excavations of Bedrule Castle, near Jedburgh which will be one of the sites Scottish Castles Association members will be visiting during our Spring Tour to Roxburghshire in April 2023.
Bedrule was a castle of the Comyn family. Remains of a gatehouse and round towers would indicate a castle of the 13th century and one suitable for King Edward I himself who resided there during his Scottish invasion of 1298.
Robert the Bruce regarded the Comyns as mortal enemies so there is little chance it survived his attention and it would have been dismantled to ‘denigh’ the English.
In the 16th century the castle must have been in some form of repair for, along with the church and village, it was a focus of numerous attacks by the English. It would never recover from these assaults and in 1591 Bedrule was simply noted as ‘a ruin’.
Comyn castles have been little investigated, though there are several in Scotland such as Inverlochy and Lochindorb, so the grant will go a long way to remedy this neglect. The CSBNP are to be congratulated on their work and we look forward to discovering what they reveal.
News of the RCAHMS survey of 13th century Comyn castles
The Tale of Bedrule Castle, including a plan of the site
Archaeology Scotland's YouTube video introducing the Twelve Towers of Rule project
Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.
* Photograph of Bedrule Castle Cairn Plaque © Walter Baxter (cc-by-sa/2.0)
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