Ayton Castle. photo Andrew Dutton
James Gillespie Graham’s grand 19th century Scots Baronial design. Ayton Castle was once the principal seat of the feudal barony of Ayton. The present castle, a grand example of Scots Baronial architecture, dates largely from the mid 19th century. An earlier castle, or tower house on the site was once the stronghold of the Home family and was captured by the English in 1497. The nearby 11th century church of St Dionysius was the scene of the subsequent negotiation of the treaty of Ayton, signed on 30 September 1497. Formal gardens or policies around the homes of the wealthy became popular during the 18th century; Roy’s map of Ayton appears to show evidence of a designed landscape around the site of the earlier castle, which was destroyed by fire in 1834.