The ruins of Hailes castle stand immediately above the banks of the river Tyne and are in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. The castle is one of the best survivors of fortifications built in the 1200’s, in this case constructed by the De Gourlay family from Northumberland, England. It is thought that the castle was captured during the English invasion led by Edward I in 1298. It is believed that James Hepburn 4th Earl of Bothwell was born here and he became the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Following Boswell fleeing to Denmark the castle became the property of the Stuarts and then the Setons before being ruined by Cromwell’s forces in 1650.
The castle does not have extensive grounds but on a bank overlooking the castle are small yews with girths impossible to measure, planted in a small area of woodland and probably no more than 200 years old.