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 Castles of Scotland - Fenton Tower

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East Lothian, Lothian, Scotland

Fenton Tower is located between Gullane and North Berwick, 20km outside of Edinburgh.

The Tower sits on a hilltop. It is five storeys high, with two spiral staircases, the wells of which are visible from the outside. The building is a light pink, to match the original. Its walls are fortified and up to 8 feet thick at some points. The windows were made very small on the ground floor for defense, but they are unusually big on upper floors.

Fenton Tower is in use as a hotel, a venue for corporate business events, private dinners, afternoon teas, and weddings. It has five suites which can accommodate up to 12 people and provides all meals either in the dining hall or in private rooms.

A tower has stood fortified on site since the 11th Century, though the current Fenton Tower was built around 1550. It was built by Patrick Whytelaw, who was Lord Ruthven's son and was of the typical structure for a fortified tower. In 1587, Sir John Carmichael took over ownership of the tower, probably as a reward from the Crown for his loyalty and for being Scotland's ambassador to Denmark. James VI of Scotland took refuge at Fenton Tower with the Carmichaels in 1591, after escaping army fire in Fife with the help of locals, and making his way across the Firth of Forth. James later became James I of Scotland and England and, after Carmichael's death, gave the Tower to Sir Thomas Erskine who went on to assume the titles of Lord Dirleton, Viscount Fenton and Earl of Kellie. The Tower was ruined in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell, who presumably killed its resident proprietor, the Earl of Dirleton. In 1663 it passed to John Nisbet, and in the 1850s the land and ruins were turned over to the Simpsons. The restoration of the tower commenced in 1998 and it is now open as both a hotel and a venue for functions.

The Arts
Fenton Castle featured in the BBC's children's series, BALAMORY.

Other Castles in the Area
  Balgonie Castle, Fife
  Borthwick Castle, Lothian
  Crichton Castle, Midlothian
  Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian
  Dalkeith Palace, Midlothian
  Dirleton Castle, Lothian
  Dunbar Castle, Lothian
  Duns Castle, Scottish Borders
  Fa'side Castle, East Lothian
  Hailes Castle, Lothian
  Kellie Castle, Fife
  Newark Castle, Fife
  Newbattle Abbey, Midlothian
  Pittarthie Castle, Fife
  Tantallon Castle, East Lothian

Tantallon Castle
Fenton Tower

Photograph by Lisa Jarvis. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tantallon Castle
Fenton Tower has recently been restored as a very upmarket holiday home

Photograph by Richard Webb. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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