Within Castle Field, between the farms of North Mains and South Mains, is an area known as Castle Strip, which may represent the remains of the predecessor of Tartraven Castle.
Consisting of a five-sided homestead measuring approximately 100.0m east to west by around 65.0m north to south, it is surrounded by a moat around 11.0m wide and 0.8m deep. Whether or not this is the site of an early castle is unclear.
What is known is that the lands of Tartraven were owned by the Melville family as far back as the 12th century, when a Sir Richard de Melville granted some of his land to the chapel of Retrevyn (later Tartraven).
In 1264 a Gregory de Malville gave the monks of Newbattle the right of passage through the lands of Retrevyn, a charter confirmed by Gregory’s grandson, John Melville, in 1329.
By the 17th century the new Tartraven Castle had been built, and was by then owned by the Ross family. If this was the case, then the old castle of Tartraven presumably fell out of use around this time.