- Travel and Places
The Wizard of Yester and the Goblin Hall - A Scottish Castle Built by Goblins
Goblin Ha' at the Castle of Yester
The Castle of Yester
Not Far from Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital, lie the formidable and substantial remains of Yester Castle, built by Lord Hugo de Giffard, warlock and geomancer. Hidden in tangled. thorny woodland the castle is said to be the result of a satanic pact between the owner, Hugo de Giffard; known as the wizard of Yester, and the devil himself. The castle was built in the 13th Century allegedly with the help of a team of hobgoblins.
Difficult to find, and rarely visited, the remains of the castle are hidden by dense undergrowth: only a few brave souls make the trip to Castle Wood.
Although mostly ruined, deep within the castle's interior lies the infamous Goblin Ha' or Hall, with one of the oldest surviving Gothic stone arched ceilings in existence, built in 1267 with the help of demonic forces.
The Quiet Village of Gifford
Gifford is a quiet, pretty village 25 miles Southeast of Edinburgh, Scotland's capital. With a few shops, a hotel and church, quaint red sandstone cottages and outdoor bowling green this village epitomises quiet rural life deep in East Lothian, an affluent agricultural area, with a rich architectural history.
It is possible to stroll down the narrow lanes of Gifford and hear only the sound of wood pigeons, but beneath this rural idyll lie some very sinister legends.
Nearby is the magical woodland of Pishwanton, an ancient 67 acre wood with an interesting name which means "abundant waters". Once used for coppicing willow the site is the convergence of three underground streams and today is a centre for education and permaculture.
The Goblin Ha' Hotel is another clue that all is not as it seems in Gifford, a small family run hotel that takes its name from the nearby goblin chambers at Yester castle.
The Goblin Hall
On the path to Yester Castle
The barony of Yester was granted in the 12th Century to Sir Hugo de Giffard by King William the Lion and the original stone keep was built in 1267.
Legend has it that when Sir Hugo's daughter was married he gave on the occasion a hand picked pear, perfectly ripe which was to be kept safely in his daughter's new family to keep the family safe. He gave the warning that if anything happened to the fruit then disaster would befall. The family kept the fruit safe in a silver casket until 1692 when a descendant, on her wedding night, opened the casket and finding the fruit fresh still after 300 years, took a bite.
Misfortune soon ensued, the family lost wealth was lost to gambling and several family deaths occurred in quick succession. The family realising the fate that had befallen them, locked up the pear back in its silver casket. The pear. although now dry and wizened, is still kept in Coulston House at nearby Haddington.
Needless to say the villagers are not overly keen to investigate the castle remains. Over the years there have been many reports of lights, shrieking and revelry emanating from the subterranean vaults. One recent paranormal investigator has photographed red lights coming from the chamber at night.
The Goblin Ha' is so called as it was reputedly
built by unworldly forces.
It is immortalised in "The Host's Tale" from
Sir Walter Scott's "Marmion".
"Of lofty roof, and ample size,
Beneath the castle deep it lies;
To hew the living rock profound,
The floor to pave, the arch to round,
There never toiled a mortal arm,
It all was wrought by word and charm."
Gifford Lies Just outside Edinburgh
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