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Traquair House

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Traquair House is 8 miles southeast of the Borders Town of Peebles, 29 miles south of Edinburgh, by the small Village of Innerleithen.

Traquair House is popular for Tours of the House, Gardens, Maze, Walled Garden with a Cafe, Brewery, and a Leather and Jewellery shop.

The House and Gardens are open 1st Apr - 30th Jun 11am - 5pm, 1st Jul - 31st Aug 10am - 5pm, 1st Sep - 30th Sep 11am - 5pm, 1st Oct - 31st Oct 11am - 4pm, November (Weekends Only) 11am - 3pm . Postcode: EH44 6PW.

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The image top is of Traquair House from the long Avenue of Trees. This is claimed to be the Oldest Inhabited House in Scotland, with the earliest parts dating to 1107, visited by 27 Kings and Queens, and lived in by the Stuart family since 1491.

Traquair House History

1100s early - the House is built for Scottish Kings as a Palace and Hunting Lodge, with a vast Forest around the House.

Alexander I, King of Scotland 1107–1124, was the first Royal to stay and Hunt at Traquair.

1286 - King Alexander III of Scotland died without leaving an Heir, leading to the English sending forces into Scotland to take control, a time known as the Wars of Scottish Independence, that took place on and off till 1357.

This time saw Traquair change hands a number of times between the English and Scots.

Both King Edward I, and Edward II of England, are said to have stayed at Traquair during their Military Campaigns in Scotland.

1300s - King Robert the Bruce awarded the lands of Traquair to Sir James Douglas, with the lands later passing to the Boyd's.

1460s - Traquair was taken back by the Crown.

1460s late - King James III of Scotland gifted Traquair to one of his favourite Musicians, Dr. William Rogers.

1478 - Dr. Rogers sold Traquair to James Stuart, 1st Earl of Buchan. The Earl was the uncle of King James III.

1491 - The Earl gifted the Estate to his illegitimate son, James Stuart, 1st Laird of Traquair.

1513 - James was killed at the Battle of Flodden, just over the border between Scotland and England, a Battle over Scotland attacking England to help their Allies the French. King James IV of Scotland and many Nobles were killed in the Battle.

1566 - Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Traquair with her husband Lord Darnley and 3 month old son James. Mary had been invited by John Stuart, 4th Laird of Traquair, to hunt Stags. The Cradle Mary used for her son James can still be viewed in the King's Room. The 4th Laird was Captain of the Queen’s Bodyguard.

1500s late - 1600s early - Traquair House was enlarged by an addition to the Tower, and another Floor to the House.

1560 - Catholic Worship was Outlawed in Scotland, with the Stuart's of Traquair remaining Catholic in secrete.

1695 - Traquair House had the two Side Wings added, leading to the House seen today.

1738 - the Bear Gates at the Main Entrance were installed for the 5th Earl of Traquair, Charles Stuart.

1745 - Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) passed through the Bear Gates when visiting the area to recruit support for his Invasion of England. The Earl then vowed they would not be opened again until a Stuart King was returned to the throne.

The 5th Earl was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a time, as a Jacobite supporter.

1746 - the Battle of Culloden ended with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army, ending any hope of the Stuart's being returned to the Throne.

1829 - a Roman Catholic Chapel was built in the House after the Laws against Catholic Worship had been relaxed.

1875 - Lady Louisa Stewart, sister of the 8th and last Earl of Traquair, died at 99 years of age. Her Ghost has been sighted in the Grounds.

1875 - Traquair passed to Henry Constable Maxwell, a cousin of the Stuart's via the female line, with him adding Stuart to his surname.

1963 - 20th Laird, Peter Constable Maxwell Stuart, and his wife Flora, open Traquair to the public.

1965 - the Traquair House Brewery was opened by Peter Maxwell Stuart, using 1700s Brewing Equipment used to make Beer for the House, with the main Brand being Jacobite Ale.

1970 - the Film Tam Lin was sot at Traquair, starring Ava Gardner, Joanna Lumley, Stephanie Beecham, and Ian McShane.

1990 - Cathrine Constable Maxwell Stuart becomes the 21st Laird, continuing to run Traquair as a visitor attraction.

If Scotland was to reinstall a Monarch, Cathrine Stuart or John Crichton-Stuart of Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute would be the top two runners for King or Queen.

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Traquair House Photos