As the fictional home of one of Scotland’s best-loved TV characters, Lallybroch has been seen by Outlander fans worldwide. But the castle that was used for the Fraser homestead has a remarkable history of its own.

Midhope Castle was the setting for Broch Tuarach – which translates to ‘north-facing tower’ in Gaelic – during the first two seasons of the fantasy drama, where lead character Jamie Fraser grew up with his family.

Affectionately termed Lallybroch (‘lazy tower’), the home is described by Jamie’s wife Claire as “a handsome three-story manor of harled white stone”. It is part of a 60-croft estate which includes a small village, and is under the ownership of the Fraser clan.

Initially the home of Jamie’s parents, it later becomes the abode of his sister Jenny and her spouse Ian Murray, before ultimately being passed down to their son, Young Jamie.

After a search for a suitable location, the Outlander team settled on Midhope, a 15th Century townhouse just 30 miles outside of Edinburgh.

Executive producer Ronald D. Moore revealed that the castle was one of the first sites scouted for the series and was chosen as it perfectly aligned with the “mental image” they had envisioned for Lallybroch. One of the key scenes filmed at Midhope Castle was the flashback sequence where Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) confronts Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).

While the castle’s exterior remains intact, its interior is uninhabitable, meaning the production team had to film the indoor scenes on specially constructed sets at the Outlander HQ in Cumbernauld.

Midhope is part of the sprawling Hopetoun Estate, which spans a breathtaking 6,500 acres and is a prominent feature on the show. The mansion was initially known as Medhope Castle and dates back to the 1450s and ’60s, when it was constructed by the Laird of Medhope, John Martyne.

Following his death, the estate changed hands several times, coming into the possession of Henry Levingstone, then Alexander Drummond and his spouse Marjorie Bruce. In the late 16th Century, they undertook significant renovations, adding the tower and turrets, and a date stone bearing their initials can still be found to mark this work.

The property was later owned by successive Earls of Linlithgow and in 1710, just a few decades before the fictional Jamie’s time, Sir Robert Sibbald described ‘Meidhope’ as a “fine tower house with excellent gardens, one of the seats of the Earls of Hopetoun”.

Sadly, by the 1950s, the building had started to deteriorate significantly, with numerous mentions of its dilapidated state. Attempts were made in the 1980s to stabilise the structure, and while the exterior has remained relatively intact, the site is still in a state of neglect.

If Outlander fans fancy visiting the historical site, Hopetoun does allow public access to the castle’s exterior, subject to certain conditions.

Visitors must secure a vehicle pass prior to their arrival, and there are occasions when access is restricted due to farming activities. As it is not designed as a tourist attraction, it lacks amenities such as toilets or food services.


By Ivaylo Angelov

Ivaylo Angelov born in Bulgaria, Varna graduated School Geo Milev is Tvserieswelove's Soaps Editor and oversees all of the section's news, features, spoilers and interviews.