Fatlips Castle saved by a major facelift

Restoration work completed on Fatlips Castle near Denholm.
Restoration work completed on Fatlips Castle near Denholm.

A crumbling castle perched high on a cliff edge overlooking Teviotdale has been saved – thanks to a major restoration project.

Work to repair Fatlips Castle on Minto Crags near Denholm has been described as challenging.

The £200,000 battle to preserve the structure has been overseen by Luke Comins, director of local conservation charity Tweed Forum.

He commented: “This is the culmination of many years of work to build a funding package and appoint a team to carry out the restoration.

“None of this would have been possible without the support of the Elliots of Minto, Historic Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and the Landfill Community Fund.

“Work on site commenced over a year ago and the contractor, John Munro, has done a fantastic job in very challenging conditions.”

Fatlips was built in its current form in 1857 by the Elliots of Minto and was modified in 1897 to the designs of Sir Robert Lorimer for the 4th Earl of Minto. It remained as a museum until the late 1960s when it was closed and locked.

It was built on the site of a peel tower constructed by the Turnbulls of Bedrule in the early 16th century and which was destroyed in 1545 by the Earl of Hertford.

The current Earl of Minto, Timothy Elliot, described the restoration as a significant moment in the castle’s history and something which secured the castle for people to enjoy.

He went on: “Our family has struggled with arresting the vandalism for years and I very much hope that people will appreciate the extraordinary effort and investment that has gone into making this structure stand proud in the landscape once again.

“Many of the original features have been restored, including the roof and parapets, and we are allowing limited access to the structure for those who are interested. The views from the top of the castle over Teviotdale are truly unspoilt and memorable.”

Mr Comins added: “We are delighted that the extensive consolidation and restoration work is now finished.

“The remote position, together with some appalling weather, has meant that the contractor did a superb job in completing the project on schedule.”