A medieval castle rated as being of national importance and which
symbolises the very nature of Borderers is at risk from a proposed wind farm.
So says Historic Scotland, the national government agency tasked with
protecting the country’s most important historical sites, when commenting
on proposals to erect 17 turbines close to Hermitage Castle.
The Southern has already reported concerns that if the application for a
wind farm at Windy Edge from energy firm, Infinis, gets approval, then an
internationally important population of breeding hen harriers could be
Now, as well as the objection from Historic Scotland, opposition has also
come from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Natural
Heritage and the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society.
But it is Historic Scotland that has been most vocal in its condemnation.
In its statement just lodged with Scottish Borders Council, Historic
Scotland describes Hermitage as one of the least disturbed major medieval
Dating from the 13th century, the massive stone fortress was the seat of
the wardens of the Middle March and the lords of Liddesdale, and boasted a
fearsome reputation as ‘the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain’.
Surrounded by a well-preserved and medieval field system and farmsteads,
Historic Scotland states there are very few places in the Borders where it
is still possible to view a medieval castle within such a well-preserved
“It is a symbol of the area representing the qualities of strength and
resilience in which the Borderers take pride,” said the agency, adding: “We
have strong concerns that the proposed wind farm would have a significant
adverse impact on the setting of Hermitage Castle.”
Malcolm McGregor, chairman of the Hermitage Action Group (HAG) campaigning
against the proposals, says Historic Scotland’s objection is another nail
in the coffin of the turbine plan.
“This is overwhelming evidence, in the view of HAG, that this misconceived
application by Infinis should never have even been considered in the first
place,” he said.
An Infinis spokesman, Chris Little, said the energy company was currently
considering Historic Scotland’s response.
And he added: Considerations about Hermitage Castle were an important part
of the design process for this project from the start.”
Infinis’ application is now expected to come before the planning committee
early next year.