ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Wizard of Yester and the Goblin Hall - A Scottish Castle Built by Goblins

Updated on October 21, 2015

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 Village

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

Sir Hugo

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 east lothian:
Gifford, Haddington EH41 4, UK

get directions

Gifford Lies Just outside Edinburgh


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      4 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Usually the energy in old buildings is strong. Lots of history and lore. A great read.

    • AlexK2009 profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I came across Goblin Halls while researching an article for the Badjao Bed and Breakfast blog. Nice article. I just wonder if you knew the name of the investigator saw the red lights coming from the chamber.

      Andrew Hennessey mentions it in his work on Spooky Edinburgh but I am skeptical of his work as he tends not to give sources and relates everything to UFOs

    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 

      6 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Excellent - I do love a spooky ruin! Must visit when next up north. Voted up and interesting.

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Fantastic Keiran- what an adventure!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Visited Goblin Hall today quite an interesting place very misty deep in the ruins

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland


    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      7 years ago from UK

      Lovely hub - never heard of the place, love the story of Sir Hugo's pear.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for your lovely comments.

    • gramarye profile image


      8 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Fantastic hub! This is now on my places to visit next time I'm in Scotland

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hiiiii, nice post buddy, given nice information about Yester Castle.. Till now I dnt know even the name Yester Castle... thanks for giving us good information.....

    • sun goddess profile image

      sun goddess 

      8 years ago from davao city, philippines

      I've always wanted to go to Scotland. thanks for the travel tip. :)

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      8 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thank you crystolite.

    • crystolite profile image


      8 years ago from Houston TX

      Intersting article that carries a lot of wisdom in it.thanks for sharing.

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      8 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks, few local people even know the legend, although the castle is up for sale at the moment!

      Roslin ( Roslyn)Chapel is not too far from here either- 10 miles.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Fascinating. I spent 6 years in Edinburgh as a student and never heard a word about all this. At first I thought it was a story, and had to verify it on google. Lovely hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, this is fantastic! Just my kind of thing! I have really got to get on a train and head your way! I believe roslyn is not far from there either? How great is that? loved it thanks, nell

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      8 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is a really cool hub. I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading your other hubs.

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      8 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for your comments, this was just a local tale that captured my imagination. Good to see you.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 

      8 years ago from UK

      I loved your hub! Great written and very interesting. Voted up. Next time when I'll visit Scotland, first thing I'll do, I'll run to the Goblin Ha' Hotel plus castle. I'll visit the hotel at night and the castle during day light, I think. :)

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      8 years ago from Sweden

      Interesting and fascinating hub! The music in the video certainly added to the creepy feeling! I am not sure I would like to visit this place in reality though. Maybe at a distance! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to visit this fantastic place in your hub instead!

    • Silver Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Fish 

      8 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks Gordon, very kind of you, it's a very unsettling place!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      8 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Fascinating. I can't believe I've never heard of this place. Definitely added to my list of places to visit and a great Hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)