#26 & 142 Borthwick Castle
Midlothian, Scotland
This is NOT an official Lego site

Borthwick Castle is a massive tower that is the most imposing in Scotland. Built by Sir William Borthwick near Edinburgh in 1430, the castle is in the shape of a U, with the back measuring 71' and the slightly longer arm 68'. The tower is 100' tall. The castle was later enclosed by a curtain wall, reportedly ringed by cylindrical towers, of which one by the entrance remains.  An early Borthwick lord carried the heart of Robert the Bruce on crusade to Granada, Spain, and distinguished himself by slaying an Moorish chieftain.  The 4th Lord Borthwick was slain at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.
The Earl of Bothwell and his bride Mary, Queen of Scots, visited Borthwick in 1567. The castle was besieged but she escaped by dressing as a man. The 9th Lord Borthwick, a staunch royalist, refused to surrender the castle until Cromwell started the actual bombardment with his cannon. The damage to the upper portion of the back wall has never been repaired. The castle was abandoned in the 17th century, but restored in 1890, and initially used as a conference center.
The castle is now a 10-room luxury hotel. Two of the rooms are in the cylindrical tower at the entrance (see upper right). The Red Room is said to be occasionally visited by a ghost. The bottom four photographs were taken during our brief visit on a rainy morning in August 2000. My attempt to make reservations a year in advance were aced out by the wedding party whose elegant breakfast is shown in the picture on the lower right. Next time I'll call two years in advance!
General & Ground Plan
First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
Third Floor Plan
West Elevation
South Elevation
Section of Main Block
Looking East
Section of Main
Block & N Wing
Looking North

Photos of the Lego Model
Built July 1989
Northwest View
Southeast View
South Southwest View

Photos of the Lego Model
Under construction December 2013 and January & August 2014
On December 11 the new castle
is laid out, and construction begins
on the portion of the basement
which is above ground.
Two days later the stair to
the drawbridge is almost
And the plan of the main
floor is laid out.
On December 14 the first floor
plan is gone, replaced by future
first floor supports.
A pair of spiral staircases will
appear to ascend from the well
room and cellars
By December 20 the main
floor is beginning to take
By December 20 the main
floor is beginning to take
he castle as it appears
on Christmas morning...
After A brief hiatus to work on
Neuschwanstein II, by mid-January
work has resumed on Borthwick.
The main floor is completed...
...and the non-open sections
are covered with light grey
...giving the appearance that the
castle is solidly rubble-filled.

The model is now rimmed with
tiles so the top floors can be

Construction resumes on August 1
and the upper castle base is
squared with 4x8 wedge plates
to form the open lower portion.
Then construction of the upper
2/3 of the castle begins. Four
inches is added the first day!
By August 2, Borthwick is
over 22 inches tall (57
layers of bricks!)
At this point the upper floors
are lifted off to allow better
access to the top floor & roof.

On August 4 1x5x4 arches ring
the tower to support the
parapets and roof.
The next day the top floor is
finished and the corbelled
parapet wall is begun.
The appearance of the tower

The 1x5x4 arches are tied
together with layers of plates
to strengthen the upper tower.

By August 6 large plates build
up the wall walk...
...and the light gray wall walk
is finally added on top.
As the sun sets on August 6,
Borthwick is ready for a roof!

The roof is added the next day
followed by a 10 day wait for tiles
to trim the chimneys & wall.

Photos of the Lego Model
Built December 2013 - August 2014
The completed tower,
seen here from the

measures 25 x 32.5"
in size, and is almost
35" tall.
Here is the west side of
the tower, which you see
as you drive in.
The tower from the
Here is a more detailed view of the
roof with 3 garrets, 3 stairs and
6 chimneys.
The upper floors lift off to reveal
the complete main floor of
Borthwick Castle.
On the left is the entrance with
the drawbridge chain in the
next room. Note the murder
hole above the main door.
Here is the Great Hall looking east.
The great fireplace is on the right,
with 2 spiral staircases up to the
bedrooms above.
The Great Hall looking west, with
tapestries, stuffed deer head and
weapons on the walls.
Here is a view of the Borthwick
Room, the Lord's parlour.
And the kitchen with its
huge walk-in fireplace.
A detail showing a
spiral stair and the

toilet room (above).

Build Your Own
Well, it took almost 5 years -- and a nudge from Jesse
Borthwick of Niceville, Florida -- but I finally have put
the 2013-4 plans and elevations on this page!
Has to be a relation, don't you think?  Thanks, Jess!
1989 Top Down
1989 Entrance Detail
2013-4 Ground Floor Plan First Floor Plan Gallery Level Plan Second Floor Plan Third Floor Plan Roof & Battlement Plan
West (Front) Elevation North (Entrance) Elevation East Elevation

Other Borthwick Castle pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed by
Anne Sullivan
Page maintained by
Robert Carney