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QUEENSBERRY HOUSE

Commissioned in 1681 by Lord Haltoun but sold upon completion some 5 years later to William, 1st Duke of Queensberry.

William's son James (2nd Duke of Queensberry) then lived here with his children including Lord Drumlanrig, his eldest son whose existence was kept secret for many years as he was considered a 'wild madman', and lived chained up in its ground floor rooms.

James was a very unpopular figure throughout Scotland as he accepted a bribe of £12,325 to push through the 1707 Treaty of the Union with England.

Whenever he left his house he would have to take body guards with him to protect him from stones and other missiles that were often thrown at him. During one of his many evenings spent canvassing for signatures, James returned home to a scene of horror.

Lord Drumlanrig had 'gotten oot' and was was devouring the flesh of a young kitchen boy who was still roasting on the spit!

The Queenberry family remained in the house until 1832. Later the building was used a house of refuge for the destitute and then as Queensberry Hospital for the elderly which was closed in 1975.

It is now part of the development of the New Scottish Parliament, retaining its original exterior.

To this day the house is reputedly haunted, perhaps because of its macabre past!

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