Luffness Castle

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Luffness Castle, sometimes known as Luffness House or Aberlady Castle, is a castle of 13th-century origin in Luffness, not far from Aberlady, in East Lothian, Scotland. The castle is historically part of the entail of the Earls of Hopetoun.


There is evidence of a permanent Viking camp at this site.

It is believed that the original castle was a significant fortress, founded by the Gospatrick Earls of Dunbar and March. Its position allowed it to protect landings in Aberlady Bay, and Haddington, which lies a few miles inland. On the death of the crusading eighth earl, the property was presented to the church, so that a Carmelite friary was founded in the ground in 1293.

The French built a fort around the castle in 1549 as defence against the English, and it was successful in impeding them for a time in the War of the Rough Wooing. Mary of Guise ordered its destruction in 1552 as part of the peace arrangements, at the insistence of the Earl of Hertford.

After the Reformation Sir Patrick Hepburn of Waughton acquired the property, and the Hepburn Earls of Bothwell gained possession in due time. Mary, Queen of Scots, visited Luffness in the company of her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.

It was purchased for £8,350 in 1739 by the 1st Earl of Hopetoun, whose family owns it still.


The house, which lies in a wooded estate not far from Aberlady Bay, is now a T-plan building, incorporating the 16th-century tower house. It was added to and altered in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. A moat, earthworks, a stair-tower, gun-loops, and a turret remain from earlier periods. The house is a Category A listed building.[1]

The grounds are listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland and include a walled fruit garden which was built by Prisoners of War of the Napoleonic Wars.[2]

See also[edit]

List of places in East Lothian


  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "LUFFNESS, HOUSE WITH EAST WING STABLES AND YARD. THE PEND, ITALIAN GARDEN AND SUNDIALS  (Category A) (LB6551)". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "LUFFNESS (GDL00270)". Retrieved 14 March 2019.


  • Lindsay, Maurice The Castles of Scotland, Constable & Co. 1986
  • Coventry, Martin The Castles of Scotland, Goblinshead 1995

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°00′51″N 2°50′38″W / 56.0141°N 2.8440°W / 56.0141; -2.8440