Rising above the rolling farmland of East Lothian, Fenton Tower occupies a spot amid emerald lawns and brush atop a picturesque pond. This historic castle in Scotland began its story in the 12th century and has enjoyed a long list of owners since then. The nearby church is also a site of archaeological interest as well as offering outstanding photo opportunities for travelers who want to stay in a castle. Fenton Tower now operates as a castle hotel and offers B & B style accommodations to discerning travelers from around the globe.
The Early Days of Fenton Tower
The origins of Fenton Tower are lost to history, but burial plots, pottery, and other archaeological finds set its early days in the 12th century. It changed hands many times over the centuries as noblemen and their families were granted land in the area. It remained in the Fenton line from the mid-1200s through the 1520s when no male heir was born and the property passed to Patrick Whitelaw of that Ilk and spouse Lady Margaret Hamilton, Countess of Agnus.
The long history of this property before and after the current Fenton Tower was built includes dozens of land grants, bestowments, usurpations of power, and gifts from one member of Scottish nobility to another. King James VI used it as a refuge between 1566 and 1625 to help retain his power. Much of the original structure was destroyed in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell’s army. The final owner before its restoration was the Simpson family who acquired it at some point during the late 1800s or very early 1900s. Dates range from 1887 to 1906.
An Impressive Castle Hotel Centuries Old
The towering brick building with multiple towers in an L-shaped configuration that stands today was presumably built around 1550. However, discrepancies with dating some of the timbers used in construction and historical documents make it difficult to know exactly when this happened. As with most things from past centuries, discrepancies exist.
It contains three stories of living spaces and both an attic and basement for storage. The property also holds the ruins of the medieval church that offers visitors an interesting glimpse into history and a great opportunity for taking pictures and building memories. Interior elements give a glimpse of how people lived within its walls many years ago. However, Fenton Tower was extensively renovated in the year 2000 and is now a castle hotel and event destination.
Historic Castle: Scotland Invites a Visit
The great-grandson of Simpson who bought the property around 1900 teamed up with his banker friend and historical restoration experts from Graves-Raines Architects in 1998. They spent approximately 2 million pounds to not only restore its former glory but update it with modern amenities while retaining historical ambience. This also included a period of archaeological investigation to document and search for anything of interest found on the property.
Today, Fenton Tower is a luxury destination for people who want modern comforts and a memorable look back through time. The property was featured in the BBC series Balamory and now offers accommodations for up to 13 visitors at a time. Corporate functions take place within its meter-thick walls. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts stay for an opportunity to fish nearby rivers or hunt grouse and pheasant. Couples disappear together into the past while enjoying the luxurious suites and exemplary service found today at Fenton Tower