Newbyres castle is one of those hidden gems. Tucked away behind Newbyres Hall on Gorebridge Main Street, you could quite easily walk past the ruins, now partially covered by debris collected over the years, not knowing it is an Historic Scotland scheduled monument.
Newbyres Tower, as it was known, is a 16th century pele tower house, used as a look-out and for refuge It had an L-plan of which only the NE corner stands.
When I joined GCDT the design for a garden around the ruins was just being finalised and works were completed in 2009. Unfortunately since then the gardens have not been properly maintained and most of the growth around the castle has returned. Last year, with the the help of the Prince’s Trust and a team of volunteers, we cleared the site and cut back all the young trees from the area around the ruins.
We are now in discussions with Historic Scotland and Archaeology Scotland about raising funds to recruit the services of an archaeologist so that we can continue with the clearance and consolidate the structure. We then intend to build two timber play structures, with the help of local school children, around the ruins. These will be educational toys that relate to the original use of Newbyres Tower as a fortification – a tower of a similar heigh to the original and a bridge over what would have been the entrance.