Auldhame Castle isn’t particularly well-known, partly because it is hidden away in woodland and partly because there is little documentary evidence of it.
Auldhame is a 16th century tower house, built on the top of cliffs overlooking Seacliff Beach, with a view to Tantallon Castle.
It is thought to have been built by the lawyer and diplomat Adam Otterburn of Reidhall (who died in 1548, and was the Lord Provost of Edinburgh several times between 1522 and 1547). It may have incorporated the remains of an earlier building.
The castle consisted of a main rectangular block measuring 18.2 metres NNW-SSE by 8.3 metres WSW-ENE, rising to three storeys in height. From the east side two rectangular towers projected, and in their re-entrant angles circular turrets were corbelled out. On each of the north corners of the main block was a further circular turret.
The ground floor was vaulted, and is the best-preserved part of the castle today.
Above that on the first floor a fragment of 17th century plaster frieze was found, but from the first floor up the castle is now in a very poor condition.
To the west of the castle were a range of outbuildings, traces of which can still be seen. Extending from the south-west corner of the main block was a wall enclosing a courtyard. Two small sections of it still stand to a height of around 3 metres, with the section closest to the main block containing a doorway with carved details.
A barmkin wall is thought to have been destroyed by cliff subsidence and quarrying, and nothing now remains of it.
Today Auldhame Castle stands on the Seacliff Estate which is accessible to the public during daylight hours.
Alternative names for Auldhame Castle
St Baldred's House