Hailes Castle lies in a little river valley between the towns of Haddington and Preston in Scotland.
This castle is said to be one of the earliest castles in Scotland. The bottom parts of the main tower date back to the 13th century, but it was later modified and eventually converted into a dovecot.
In the 14th century, a second tower was added and both this and the original tower have pit prisons. Between the two towers is a range that was built in the 15th century. In its vaulted basement were the kitchens of which some nice details survive. Between this range and the second tower is a postern gate leading out to the river Tyne at the back.
The un-strategic position of Hailes Castle means that it never played any major part in history. The castle was however unsuccessfully attacked in 1400 by the Earl of March and Hotspur Percy. Only to be successfully besieged in 1443 by Archibald Dunbar. When I visited this nice ruin on a cold and wintery afternoon, I had the castle all to myself. This is how I like the ruins I visit the best; lonely and quiet.
The castle is owned by Historic Scotland and freely accessible.