Smithfield (Venlaw) Castle
Site of 14th C tower house near Peebles that has been a hotel since 1949
The building was originally a 14th century fortress, built by the Hay family, called Smithfield Castle. Alein de Hey was of Norman descent and resident of Smithfield. In the 14th century, records state that Hey was ‘poor’, a euphemism for being landless. In this case he had undoubtably been stripped of his lands by King Robert the Bruce for backing Edward I. It is quite possible that the early fortress has been in his care. The Hey or Hay family dispersed throughout the borders, each sept regaining varying amounts of power.
The medieval fortress was destroyed sometime in the 18th and reconstructed as a french baronial style house in 1782 and renamed as Castle Venlaw by the Stephenson family who were local sheriffs. It was enlarged again in 1854. It is an excellent example of the Scottish Baronial style, and is set in 4 acres (1.6 ha) of gardens.
You can stay in the hotel and enjoy the lovely grounds overlooking Peebles to the South.