Traquair House, approximately 5 miles southeast of Peebles, is claimed to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. While not strictly a castle, it is built in the style of a fortified mansion. It predates the Scottish Baronial style of architecture, and may have been one of the influences on this style. It contains a brewery which makes Jacobite Ale and House Ale.
It is built on the site of a hunting seat used by the Scottish kings from the 12th century, though no part of the present building can be dated with certainty before the 15th century.
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The house is open to the public and counts among its features:
- The Bear Gates, which were last closed in 1745 by the Jacobite army marching South to England. Tradition states they will not be opened until a Stuart again sits on the Scottish Throne.
- A bed said to have been slept in by Mary, Queen of Scots.
- A recently planted, but now mature, garden maze.
- An annual Traquair Fair, held on the first weekend in August.
- Relics of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Jacobites.
- The Museum Room has a mural on one wall dating from about 1530, one of the oldest to survive in a secular building in Scotland.
- The house was the location for the 1969 film, The Ballad of Tam Lin, starring Ava Gardner.
The Traquair House Brewery was started in 1965 by Peter Maxwell Stuart using the 18th century domestic brewery equipment that had previously been used to make beer for the house. The brewery makes a range of beers, though the two main brands are Jacobite Ale and House Ale.
- "Traquair House Brewery | Traquair House, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders, Scotland". traquair.co.uk. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 30 September 2012. "18th century domestic brewery"
- "Traquair, Innerleithen, Borders, Scotland - RateBeer". ratebeer.com. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
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