Massive L Plan house that is somewhat ruinous and at risk
Ancient house with a varied history and ownership that now stands in the middle of a caravan park. There are plans to restore or refurbish the house as a hotel. Part of the outbuildings are now used as offices. The house can be visited and wandered around with some care.
History of Castle:
Hoddom Castle was built by Sir John Maxwell of Terregles as part of a line of defensive structures completed by him in the 1560s. The lands of Hoddom were originally part of the Herries barony but did not form part of that which he got with his bride Agnes Herries and the lands had to be bought from her sister Catherine, wife of Alexander Stewart of Garlies.
The original structure was four storeys and a garret built on a 'L' plan. The stair tower reached up a further level to form a caphouse. The walls at the ground level are between nine and fifteen feet thick and rise to seventy-five feet at the wall walk. The basement has seven gun slots with another two at the bottom of the wheel stair. The fourth floor also has a number of downward angled shot holes. The castle stood in the northern corner of a four-sided courtyard, which had round towers of two stories at each of the other three angles.
The gate was originally in the north wall beside the tower. Being one of the last great towers built in the borders Hoddom didn't see a great deal of action. It was reportedly "thrown down" on two occasions but these were undoubtedly the exaggerated reports of English invaders. The castle appears not to have been built as a residence, but more likely as a barracks for troopers to defend the border.
The castle is less then half mile from the watch tower of Repentance and it seems the two were built in tandem the former to support the latter. Captain Grose, who visited the castle in the 1780s reported a great armorial stone over the door of Lord Herries (John Maxwell) Arms, but this has sadly long since disappeared.
The castle was sold to Murray of Cockpool in 1626 by Sir John's grandson, William, Lord Herries. Murray extended the wheel stair up another level and added the distinctive pinnacle roofs over the corner rounds. He also added the first of a whole series of extensions which have scarred the exterior stone work.
After several changes of ownership including the celebrated Charles Kirkpatrick Sharp, the Castle came to the Brook family who employed William Burn to modify the place in the 19th century. Burn was a great exponent of the Scottish Baronial style and encased the whole ancient edifice within a baronial mansion. The Brook family however, took up residence at their other home, nearby Kinmount, and Hoddom was rented out.
During the Second World War the castle and grounds were requisitioned and allied servicemen lived in the extensive structure. The mansion fell into disrepair in the 1950s, which prompted the demolition of all the Victorian additions revealing the 16th and 17th century towerhouse.
Today the tower is uninhabited and surrounded by a caravan park.