Floors Castle is situated 43 miles
southeast of Edinburgh, next to the
Town of Kelso.
Floors Castle is open to the public
April to September 10.30am – 5:00pm,
October (Weekends Only) 10.30am – 5:00pm,
with an entrance fee. The Gardens and
Cafe are open all year. Postcode: TD5
See also a large Click On Map for the area Towns and
The Ker family, Earls and Dukes of Roxburghe
have held lands in this area since the 1100s.
The present Floors Castle was built in 1837 by
the architect William Playfair.
The present building may incorporate a much
earlier Tower House, and a Mansion from the
There are two entrances to the Castle, one
from Roxburgh Street in Kelso that takes you to
the Castle, and another from the B6397 road to
St Boswells that leads into the Walled Garden
with a Cafe.
Floors Castle History
1100s - the Ker family held lands in the
Kelso area, later becoming Earls and Dukes.
They are believed to have originated from
Normandy in France, with them still owning the
1128 - Roxburghe
Castle was built across the River from
where Floors Castle is today for King David I.
Little of that Castle remains.
1560 - the Reformation led
to Catholic worship being banned in Scotland,
leading to Abbeys being left to fall into ruin.
Abbey had owned vast areas of land around
Kelso. King James VI gifted Kelso Abbey lands
to Robert Ker, first Earl of Roxburghe, leading
to great wealth.
1707 - the Acts of the
Union led to Scotland and England merging
into Great Britain. John, Earl of Roxburghe
(1680–1741) was involved in negotiations for
the Union of England and Scotland.
This lead to much safer times as there was
less chance of any more wars between Scotland
and England. Also, before this time, many Scots
landowners had long running feuds with
neighbouring landowners, often leading to tit
for tat murders. After the Acts of the Union,
murdering your neighbour would almost certainly
lead to you being executed in a brutal way,
such as hanging or guillotine in Edinburgh,
with vast crowds watching.
This led to landowners building large
Mansion Houses to replace their Tower Houses or
Castles. Some mansions were built around a
Tower House, or onto the side of a Tower House.
Some were built to look like a Castle, but with
little defense, such as the Floors Castle seen
1721 to 1726 - a Georgian Mansion was built
on the site of present day Floors Castle for
John / Earl of Roxburghe by the famous Scottish
1812 - Sir James Innes
became Duke of Roxburghe, leading to the family
using the name Innes-Ker. Sir James had to
undergo a 7 year court battle to take the
1837 - Duke James commissioned the architect
William Playfair to transform the original
Georgian Mansion into the Floors Castle that
can be seen today.
1800s - Sunlaws House was built on an estate
to the southwest of Floors Estate.
1903 - Duke Henry
married the American heiress Mary Goelet, with
her taking paintings and tapestries from her
Long Island home to be used in Floors.
1960s - George Innes-Ker, ninth duke of
Roxburghe, bought Sunlaws Estate and used the
Mansion as an estate office.
1977 - Floors Castle was opened to the
public with an entrance fee.
1982 - Sunlaws House was converted to the
Sunlaws Hotel for the Duke.
1984 - Floors Castle featured in the movie
Greystoke / The
Legend of Tarzan / Lord of the Apes.
1997 - the Roxburghe Golf Course
was opened at the Sunlaws Hotel for the
2000 - Sunlaws Hotel was renamed the
2018 - the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course
were sold to a German company with them adding
about 60 new rooms, spa and lodges.
Today - Floors Castle is claimed to be the
largest inhabited Mansion in Scotland, owned by
10th Duke of Roxburghe.