Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Floors Castle



Floors Castle is a magnificent stately home set in the Roxburghe Estate near the market town of Kelso. Home to the10th Duke of Roxburghe, Floors Castle is the largest inhabited house in Scotland. Set within extensive grounds and beautiful gardens this wonderful family home is steeped in history. Built in 1721 on the banks of the River Tweed the castle offers superb views of the surrounding countryside. Only a 15 - 20 minute walk from Kelso town centre Floors Castle is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing day, absorbing the history of the grand stately rooms, once visited by Queen Victoria, strolling through the the woodland and beside the river or relaxing in the walled and millennium gardens followed by a treat in the courtyard or terrace cafe. 

Although inhabited, many parts of this historic building are open to the public. In addition to the splendour and grandness of the rooms and tapestries the castle contains collections of fine art, porcelain and a vast collection of stuffed birds, featuring almost every UK species, including a couple of truly enormous ones in the Golden Eagle and the Great Bustard. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and extensive woodland offering riverside walks and fabulous views. In summer the walled garden is ablaze with colour and the adjacent millennium garden complete with a summer house enjoyed by Queen Victoria is a tranquil retreat. 




Gatehouse

House
Until the reformation the lands of Floors were originally held by the monks of Kelso Abbey. They were handed to Robert Ker of Cessford (later to become the 1st Earl Roxburghe) by King James VI. Floors Castle was built in 1721 for the 1st  Duke of Roxburghe, who was rewarded with the title for his role in securing a union between England and Scotland.The Castle was built incorporating and an earlier Tower House and was originally a symmetrical Georgian Country House. Between 1837 and 1847  the 6th Duke commissioned William Playfair to remodel the castle creating the  "fairytale castle" that exists today. In 1867 Queen Victoria and four of her children stayed in the castle for two nights before departing for Balmoral. 

In 1903 the 8h Duke married Mary Goelet, an American heiress who furnished the castle with her own collection of art, furniture, porcelain and tapestries brought with her her from Long Island. The present Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe continue to live in and maintain the castle. 







Gardens
surrounded by woodland are the impressive walled and millennium gardens. The flower beds in the secluded walled garden overflow with colour and the victorian glasshouses are packed with young plants and fruits. 

The formal millennium garden was created to commemorate the new millennium, featuring thinterteinihg initials of the Duke and Duchess. Within the garden is "The Queens House" which was built in 1867 for Queen Victoria to take afternoon tea during her visit.



The Walled Garden

The Walled Garden

The Millennium Garden

Grounds
Between the castle and the millennium garden is the beautiful and serene woodland garden, containing a mixture of open glades, mature trees and shrubs. A great way to explore the grounds is follow the woodland walk, meandering through the woodland and observing the many birds, owls, woodpeckers and red squirrels. 

The riverside walk along the banks of the River Tweed offers stunning views of the parkland and surrounding countryside. Look out for  the vast array of wildlife including, otters, herons and oyster catchers. 

A cycle tail runs through the grounds and is the perfect way to enjoy this magnificent estate. 





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