Newark Castle (one of four in Scotland) was constructed from 1423 onwards by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Wigtown. It took the form of a rectangular five storey tower house and was built upon a rocky knoll overlooking the River Yarrow. It was still incomplete when it was seized by James III following his overthrow of the Black Douglases and he then granted it to his Queen, Margaret of Denmark.
Standing in excess of three metres tall with towers projecting from its south and east sides, it was constructed as a result of the regular warfare with England during Henry VIII's reign. Indeed an English army under Lord William Grey of Wilton besieged the site in 1547 but, despite successfully seizing the grounds, his forces were unable to take the tower due to a lack of artillery. The following year however the castle was attacked again and this time the tower was burnt. The damaged castle was granted to the Scott family in 1550 who made repairs and some structural modifications.
In September 1645, during the War of Three Kingdoms, Newark Castle found itself in proximity to the Battle of Philiphaugh where the Royalist forces of the Marquis of Montrose were routed. Around one hundred captured prisoners and camp followers were executed within the grounds of the castle by Covenanter forces. The mass grave of the murdered prisoners was located in 1810 in a field known as Slain Mens Lea.
Newark Castle was attacked and badly damaged by Oliver Cromwell during his invasion of Scotland in 1650. After the war it was repaired and modernised by Anne Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch. However, she was the last person to live there and, after her death, the tower was stripped of most of its fixtures and fittings.
Image by @scottjamespryde ———————————————————