Cessford Castle in a field of yellow flowers

Cessford Castle

Near Morebattle
Borders Region

The ruins of Cessford, a once massive castle between Kelso and Jedburgh, presents a sharp contrast to the gentle farmland surrounding it. The castle was stronghold of the Kers, ancestors of the Duke of Roxburgh and an influential Border family. Cessford was built in the 14th century. It ceased to be a dwelling house in 1650, but was later used as a prison. The Kers were known as being a predominately left-handed family. Consequently, many castles formerly associated with the family have their spiral stairways twisting opposite from most. This was so the upper levels could be more advantageously defended during attacks with swords, giving the left-handed residents more arm room for fighting. The bright yellow crop, seen growing profusely throughout Britain, is oil seed rape. Its primary use is for making canola oil for cooking.