Hermitage Castle is known as a pillar of the bloodiest valley in Britain. As most likely you will remember, this definition comes from the extremely saturated bloody battles and fighting past of the Hermitage Castle.
Hermitage today is an half destroyed palace in the border region of Scotland. Although the ruins are reminiscent of the ancient age of the Hermitage, it is still a charming spot for tourist visits, especially because of its impressive appearance and sinister atmosphere that hovers around it.
It is believed that the name, Hermitage, comes from the Old French: l'armitage, which translates as, bunker. It is believed that the wooden castle on this place was built somewhere around 1240 by Nicholas de Soulis in a typical Norman style. The Hermitage Castle remains the property of the family of Solis until around 1320 when his son - William, was arrested with charges of witchcraft and attempted murder of King Robert I of Scotland.
An ominous story about the arrest of William said that he was sentenced to death, he was "rendered" in a cauldron of molten lead. The real facts, however, indicates that William died as a prisoner in the Dumbarton Castle.
Somewhere around 1371, Hermitage was in the hands of the first Earl of Douglas. He radically transformed the appearance of Hermitage Castle and it becomes a strong and almost impregnable stone tower house. The third Earl of Douglas added to each corner of the fort of the Hermitage high observatory towers somewhere around 1390.
Then the palace fell into the hands of the Counts Bothwell. The story of Hermitage Castle throughout its existence is saturated with blood, murder and purposes of the ambitious and uncompromising rulers. The only romantic story that can be told about Hermitage Castle comes from October 1566 when the palace belonged to the fourth Earl of boothwell - James Hepburn.
He was mortally wounded in a battle and when this news reached Mary Queen of Scots, she dropped everything to take a trip alone to her lover. Still married, she could not remain long in his beloved Hermitage Castle so soon after she went back home.
Hermitage Castle today is considered one of the most fearsome and sinister castles on the territory of Scotland. Many believe the spirits of the Solis family still roam the stone walls of the Hermitage. There are one or two cases in which the occasional visitors and workers of Hermitage swear that they saw wandering pieces at a time when the Hermitage is closed for visits.