Queensferry – Dundas Castle

queensferru - dundas


Dundas Castle is a 15th century castle, with substantial 19th century additions by William Burn, in the Dalmeny parish of West Lothian, Scotland. The home of the Dundas family since the Middle Ages.

The name Dundas comes from the Gaelic dùn deas, meaning ‘south hill’ or ‘pretty hill’. In the 11th century, the lands of Dundas, along with several other lands in Lothian, were granted by King Malcolm Canmore to Gospatric, the earl of Northumbria, who had come north to escape William the Conqueror. The lands of Dundas passed to his great-grandson Waldeve, who granted them to Helias son of Uchtred in a charter dating from around 1180. The precise relation between Waldeve and Helias is not known, but they were undoubtedly kinsmen. Helias took his surname from his lands, becoming the first of the Dundas family. The Dundases of that Ilk and their cadets would later come to control much of Mid and West Lothian.

In 1416, James Dundas obtained a licence from the Duke of Albany (then the effective ruler of Scotland) to build a keep. This keep was extended in 1436, making it into an L-plan. The Keep served both as a home in times of peace and a fortress in times of war. Oliver Cromwell is known to have stayed at Dundas Castle around the time of the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. A statue of him remains standing outside the Keep. In 1818, James Dundas had the 17th century portion of the building pulled down and rebuilt in a Tudor-Gothic style by the renowned architect William Burn. Burn also designed many churches and this influence is visible throughout the building. Burn’s designs for the main state rooms allow for huge windows that look out on to lawns and parkland outside.

Dundas Castle is now one of Scotland’s most beautiful and historic castles and it is one of the top 5 Star Exclusive Use venues in Britain.  Unlike a hotel, the Castle is booked in its entirety for a wide variety of events.