Americana Fair at Traquair House

Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd August

Final preparations for the Traquair Fair are under way for the 33rd Traquair Fair. This year, for the first time there will be an Americana theme including an Elvis tribute act, Danny Allan as well as Wild West Shows, Classic American Cars, Film, and a great line up of music throughout the weekend.

Catherine Maxwell Stuart who organises the event, commented:

“We may not be opening the Bear Gates just yet for this “king” but we can promise a sensational weekend of entertainment for all ages. There has been a great response already to the event and the Americana theme has touched a chord with many – who can resist Cowboys, Country, Cajun food and Cheerleaders! “

 With outdoor spectacles, music, theatre, film, dance and workshops for all ages this Is one of Scotland’s best loved family events and there is a packed programme to cater for every taste:

Highlights will include Martell’s Raiders, with shows including whip cracking, gun fights, fast draw and other stunning feats. In a slightly more tongue in cheek vein, the hilarious Calamity Jane will be presenting her own show including and her own line in lasso line dancing!

On the Music Stage in the old walled garden there will be music until 7pm with 11 bands over two days from Scotland and the USA. Featuring Country, Blues, Soul and Celtic Americana they include New York based Curtis Eller’s American Circus one of the quirkiest banjo players in the country.  From Georgia, Brooks Williams, a singer songwriter – ranked as one of the US top 100 acoustic guitarists. From Scotland, Dean Owens & The Whisky Hearts – one of Scotland’s most acclaimed and established singer songwriters described as Celtic Americana with a rocky pop edge. There will also be Edinburgh based choir, Got Soul; Foot stomping music and soaring harmonies from Glasgow based rootsy band, The Chaplins. Great blues music from 8 piece band, Blueswater.  Edinburgh based soul kings; Rising Souls, and Borders’ based country favourites The Frequent Flyers with Kathy Stewart.

Up in the courtyard there will be traditional Appalachian clog dance, storytelling, as well as a new show from the Award winning Two Faced Dance Company who will be presenting “Kapow” a high octane family show starring Batman, Superman and Spiderman coming to terms with modern day life. And an Americana theme would not be complete with some professional cheerleaders from Elite Pro Dance.

For children, there will be top quality entertainment for younger and older kids with theatre and puppet shows including the Latin American inspired puppets from Cusan Theatre, Macastory with some American inspired tales, Mr Boom, arts  and circus workshops, street theatre, swing boats, face painting, fairy wings and a range of other activities including the Rodeo Bull!

Out in front of the house there will be a display of classic American cars and motorbikes and up in the house a showing of some classic American films.

As well as all the entertainment there will be crafts, fantastic foods from around the world, local food producers and workshops for all to participate in including felt making, stone carving, green wood working as well of course, how to lasso!

For further details of the programme go to where reduced priced tickets can be purchased in advance until July 28th.


Editors Notes:

The Traquair Fair has been run since 1976 starting as a Craft Fair and growing into a large arts, theatre and music event. It is now run on a biennial basis.

Traquair is Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House and the event is held throughout the grounds and house.

The event regularly attracts 5 – 6,000 people over the weekend with camping available on site.

Contacts: Catherine Maxwell Stuart – organiser, Sarah Macdonald – marketing assistant

Tel; 01896 830323 

Email: or

Photographs supplied on request.

A Secret History Revealed at Traquair

Press Release…

Jacobite Tercentennary 1715 - 2015

Traquair’s close associations with the Jacobites are being brought to the fore in 2015 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion.

The Stuarts of Traquair were prominent Jacobite supporters as were their close relations, the Nithsdales. The stories of these families include a dramatic escape from the Tower of London, the closing of the famous Bear Gates until the return of a Stuart King and an intricate system of secret communication including an unbroken coded letter.

A Jacobite theme will run through the year and a series of events and exhibitions will be mounted. The highlights will include the following:

  • A Jacobite Story – June 1st – Sept 30th. A new exhibition in the House will bring together rarely displayed documents and letters from the Traquair Archives telling the story of the Stuarts’ involvement in the rebellion and the Nithsdale escape along with a collection of contemporary Jacobite jewellery by Josephine Conkie. The exhibition will also include a loan from the Drambuie Collection of Jacobite glass that will complement Traquair’s own outstanding collection.
  • Traquair Harpsichord & Lute Recital – Saturday June 13th. A special chance to see the Jacobite exhibition after hours and attend a recital on the Traquair Harpsichord and Lute by Jan Waterfield and Jamie Akers. The Traquair Harpsichord dates from 1651 and has been recently restored. This will be the first time it has been played in public in over 20 years. Tickets available but limited!
  • A Jacobite Detective Trail will be linked to the exhibition and will encourage children to discover the many Jacobite secrets hidden in the house.
  • Secret Symbols and Hidden Meanings” will be the subject of a Jacobite talk with Murray Pittock at the Beyond Borders International Festival on the 22nd/23rd August.
  • A Jacobite Ghost Tour – The traditional Halloween Ghost Tours on 30/31st October and Fri 6th/Sat 7th November will have a historical Jacobite twist.

From Jousting to Jacobites at Traquair’s Medieval Fayre…

Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May 2015

11am – 5pm

Traquair House Innerleithen Peeblesshire

Traquair is the magical setting for a wonderful weekend of medieval mayhem for all the family with a chance to find out how life was really lived in the Middle Ages and the entertainment they all enjoyed.

From spectacular jousting on the avenue to a full scale Medieval Tournament with plenty of competition between knights throughout the day to falconry, archery, living history demonstrations, medieval traders and wandering minstrels this is a superb weekend for young and old.

Children will be enthralled by the many activities and opportunities to participate in everything from how to medieval catapult firing, hobby horse jousting and a helmet and sword making workshop. There is storytelling from Mistress Quill and a Jester performing and making mischief wherever you go.

As Traquair commemorates the tercentenary of the Jacobite 1715 Uprising this year we will have an additional attraction of a visitation by some Jacobites from a later age who will be providing a living camp and some combat demonstrations to show how fighting techniques had moved on after Medieval times.

There could be no venue more appropriate than Traquair with its 900 years of history to host a Medieval Fayre. The wonderful grassed avenue with the house as a backdrop will fill you with awe while the old walled garden is transformed into an authentic medieval setting with crafts, traders, activities and music.

With Ye Olde Medieval Ale brewed on the premises, Hog roast and other delicious foods on offer the Medieval Fayre makes for a truly entertaining and educational and enjoyable weekend   

Reduced price tickets available until 19th May

Adults £12.00 (£10.00 advance) Child/Concs. £10.00 (£8.00 advance) Family £38.00 (£36.00 advance). Ticket price includes all entertainment and entry to house. Dogs welcome on leads. 

Traquair Celebrates 50 Years of Brewing with a Very Special Ale



Traquair is celebrating 50 years of brewing in the ancient brewery at Traquair, Scotland’s Oldest Inhabited House.

In 1965, Peter Maxwell Stuart, 20th Laird of Traquair came upon an extraordinary discovery in the eighteenth century wing of the house. A complete brew house and tun room had been left untouched for over a century and used as the family junk store. Having uncovered the vessels, cleaned and restored the equipment he decided to try his hand at brewing. Together with his friend Sandy Hunter, then owner of Belhaven Brewery, they came up with a recipe for a traditional “wee heavy”, the orginal Traquair House Ale. The beer was first brewed in 1965 and is still brewed at Traquair today.

50 years on, Traquair has a built a world wide reputation as an iconic Scottish Ale with a unique heritage and rarity value. It was even voted 20th best brewery in the world by an American consumer website.

To celebrate this half century of brewing, Peter’s daughter, Catherine, who now runs the brewery has produced the TRAQUAIR 50, a limited edition ale (20,000 bottles only) packaged in a specially designed bottle.

With an ABV 9% this is not a beer to be taken lightly but promises to be a smooth dark  and well balanced ale.  Catherine Maxwell Stuart commented,

“We have had a tradition of producing “specials” down the years which have become real collector’s items and the Traquair 50 will be no exception.  The oak fermentation gives our ales a depth and complexity that gives our beers their really unique character. With a guaranteed shelf life of 10 years, you can keep this bottle in your cellar for some time!”

The Traquair 50 will be available from Traquair House from the 20th April which is open daily until the end of October and from selected independent retailers.

Editors notes:

 Traquair House Brewery is situated in the wing of Traquair House that was built in 1694. The original equipment includes the copper purchased for £8 10s in 1738 and the oak fermenting tuns made from Russian memel oak.

Traquair House Brewery produces 3 bottled Ales Traquair House Ale ABV 7.2% Traquair Jacobite Ale ABV 8% and Traquair Bear Ale ABV 5%.

Ingredients comprise Hops (East Kent Goldings), Malt, pure Spring Water and Yeast.

90% of the beers are bottled with only Bear Ale available on draught.

Traquair is sold to the USA, Canada, Japan, Finland, Denmark, Italy, France, Sweden, Russia, Brazil and China.

For further information, photographs and interviews contact; Catherine Maxwell Stuart, Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire EH4 6PW


Traquair House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire

Easter Sunday April 5th

Grounds Open 11.00am

Activities from midday

A Gigantic Easter Eggstravaganza for all the family.

The  Easter Egg Extravaganza at Traquair is the biggest event of its kind in the Borders. With over 5,500 mini eggs hidden in the Maze and some larger eggs to be won as well we guarantee that no child shall leave empty handed.

This year there is also a gigantic Easter Egg which all are invited to decorate during the day and will be exhibited after the event.

There are lot of other activities children to enjoy from scavenger and treasure hunts in the grounds and woodlands, musical instrument making, drumming and singing, egg decorating, storytelling, Easter bonnet making as well as Face Painting in the walled garden.

Michael Angelo, the extraordinary stilt man will be entertaining the crowds and leading the Easter procession at 3.00pm for everyone to show off their bonnets!

This year there are three egg hunts planned for the under 10’s.

At 1.30pm the first hunt will be for 5-6year olds in the Maze. Then at 3.30pm there will be an under 5’s egg scramble in the Old Walled Garden and at 4.00pm a hunt for 7-9 year olds will be held in the Maze.

Light meals, a hog roast and delicious home baking will be available from our award winning 1745 Cottage Restaurant and Traquair House is open to the public from 11.00am – 5.00pm.

Admission: Adults £6.00 Child/Concs. £5.00 Under 5’s free

House entry is additional

All enquiries Tel; 01896 830323

Traquair Commemorates the 1715 Jacobite Uprising

Traquair House will be commemorating the tricentennary of the 1715 Jacobite Uprising with a programme of events, concert and exhibition that will highlight the Traquair Jacobite connection.

The Stuarts of Traquair and their close relations, the Nithsdales were strong Jacobite supporters and their involvement in the ’15 led to the Earl of Nithsdale being captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. His courageous wife engineered a daring escape smuggling her husband out dressed in a servants’ cloak.

 An exhibition at Traquair House (June- September) will bring together rarely displayed documents and letters from the Traquair Archives telling the story of the Stuarts’ involvement in the rebellion and the Nithsdale escape along with a collection of contemporary Jacobite jewellery.

Traquair will also host a superb collection of Jacobite Glass on loan from the Drambuie collection that will be shown alongside Traquair’s own collection. These superbly crafted eighteenth century glasses and drinking vessels all contain cryptic symbols and messages that depict allegiance to the exiled Stuart kings.

Another highlight of the summer will be a concert in the house which will include early music from the Stuart court played on the Traquair Harpsichord made by Andreas Ruckers in 1651. This will be the first time it has been played in nearly 20 years after careful restoration.

In August, as part of the Beyond Borders International Festival of Literature and Thought prominent historians will debate the significance of the Jacobites and their place in Scotland’s history.

Throughout the year there will be a Jacobite theme running throughout all the Traquair events including a Jacobite visitation to the Traquair Medieval Fayre (24/25 May) and Children’s Jacobite detective hunt in the grounds.

For more information please contact the office on 01896 830323 or email

Traquair Fair 2015

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd August

11am – 6pm (music until 8pm)

Traquair Fair returns with an Americana theme

Traquair Fair will be returning in 2015 with a spectacular Americana theme. One of the Borders’ most popular events, the Fair decided to move to being staged on a bi-ennial basis in 2011.

Following on from a 1960’s theme in 2013 this year will highlight all things American. With a great line up of Music including Country, Bluegrass, Folk and Roots as well as workshops in Jive Dance and Line Dancing the Fair will be jumpin’ and jivin’ through the day.

Wild West Entertainments, high quality street theatre and shows will take place in front of the house while by the Maze the Children’s Area promises to be a mix of theatre, workshops and activities with an American theme.

A grand display of classic American cars and bikes will be on show and enthusiasts invited to bring their vehicles along.

In the house, there will be live showings of classic American movies throughout the weekend from James Dean to Classic Westerns.

On the avenue and in the garden there will be Teepees and therapies, Food, Crafts, Vintage Clothing and Accessories. Those interested in performing or wish to apply for stand should contact Traquair Fair now at Tel: 01896 830323

Festive Fayre at Traquair


Saturday 29THand Sunday 30th November

11am – 4pm

Traquair is gearing up for its free Christmas Opening which takes place on the 29th and 30th November with plenty of opportunities to catch up with Christmas shopping and enjoy some festive fun.

Traquair will be decorated for Christmas with floral displays by the Peebles Floral Art Society and staff in Victorian dress. There is a sumptuous Santa’s Grotto in the Lower Drawing Room for under 10’s as well as puppet shows by Poppy Browne, scavenger hunts and face painting.

In the Chapel there will be performances over the weekend from the Tweed Valley Male Voices, St Ronans Silver Band (Sat only) and the new Traquair Village Choir (Sun only) who will entertain with a range of music and Christmas carols.

In the courtyard you can feast on roasted chestnuts and hot dogs or try a glass of delicious mulled wine in the Dining Room.

There will be plenty of shopping opportunities with Crafts Stalls in the house and great discounts to be found in the Traquair Gift and Brewery Shop as well as the chance to win a Christmas Cake and luxury Traquair Hamper.

The 1745 Cottage Restaurant will also be open for lunches, teas and a hog roast.

The event is free but all proceeds from collections will go to the Muscular Dystrophy campaign.

For further information or photographs contact; Tel; 01896 830323

Halloween Ghosts & Spooky Fun At Traquair

Friday 24th October & Saturday 25th October
Friday 31st & Saturday 1st November
7pm & 9pm.


Sunday 26th October.
11am – 4pm.

Traquair will be celebrating Halloween this year by bringing back some ghosts from the past for their spooky Halloween Tours and then having some spooky fun and games for all ages for a Halloween Fun Day.

The very popular ghostly evening tours of Traquair will return by popular demand. If you want a truly atmospheric visit to this ancient house, these are the nights to come. Ghosts of the past come to life and guide you through the house telling the stories of their lives and the trials and tribulations they faced as Catholics and Jacobites.

Be on your guard for the odd unexpected surprise and then relax in the comfort of the eighteenth century Dining Room with a glass of mulled wine. Not for those with a nervous disposition.

On Sunday 26th October, the Halloween Fun Day will suit families and for children of all ages. Get dressed to kill and enjoy the wide variety of entertainments from traditional Halloween Games including Apple Dookin’ and Spooky Lucky Dip to a ghostly chocolate treasure hunt in the Maze, Spooky Scavenger Hunt, Spooky face painting and a Wizard and Witches workshop. For those who dare, take a trip down the Spooky Passage for a very ghostly experience or listen to some ghoulish tales in the library. There will also be magic shows throughout the day with Kramus Nexifus, the Magical Wizard and for adults, tarot readings in the house.

The 1745 Cottage Restaurant will be serving Halloween Suppers on the nights of the ghost tours as well as delicious lunches and teas every day until the end of October.

Additional Notes for editors:  Ghost tour prices - Adults: £12.00 Children £8.00
Tours suitable for 8yrs and over. Combined tour and supper ticket £24.00
Halloween Fun Day. Adults; £7.00 Child/Conc £4.00 Family £18.00
(2 adults and up to 3 children) Tickets on the Gate only for this event.
Box Office 01896 830323
For further information and photographs contact Catherine Maxwell Stuart Tel; 01896 830323

Traquair Launches Referendum Brew





Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August 2014

11am – 8pm

Traquair House Innerleithen Peeblesshire

Traquair’s new beer and food festival, Beyond Beer, is releasing its programme this week and unveiling details of a new beer to be launched at the Festival – Referendum Ale.

Beyond Beer will host all the breweries in the Borders – Traquair, Borders, Tempest, Broughton and new addition, Freewheelin’  as well as neighbouring brewers Stewart Brewing, Knopps and Top Off and from a little further a field, Arran Brewery.  

Around 25 cask ales will be available over the weekend as well as Traquair’s new brew Referendum Ale (ABV 4%). Visitors to the festival will be invited to choose between two pumps  “A Strong Ale for A Strong Union” or  “For the Independent Drinker”  and a straw poll will be taken at the end of the weekend as to which pump was the most popular.

A programme of talks and events will take place throughout the weekend with some of the UK’s best known beer writers and bloggers. They will include a session with Jane Peyton and Sophie de Ronde on Women in Beer which will entice women who thought they never liked beer to give it a try. There will a workshop and tasting looking at new beer and food matchings, and an innovative Beer & Music matching session with Pete Brown, the UK’s best know beer blogger. You can meet the brewers for all the breweries taking part and hear their stories as well as tasting their beer and listen to one of the world’s best known beer writers and tasters, Roger Protz give his views on the future of Beer. For those that want a behind the scenes tour of the Traquair Brewery these will also be taking place throughout the event.

A Home Brew competition has also been launched by Traquair and is still open for entries with the judging taking place on Sunday 3rd August.

As well as beer there will plenty of delicious foods to try and local producers including The Juicy Meat Company, Peelham Farm, Breadshare, Overlangshaw Ice Cream, The Sunflower, The Secret Herb Garden  as well as a Pizza Oven, Vegetarian and vegan foods and a Borders’ food producers’ shop.

For children attending the event there is free and there will be plenty to keep them amused with a make your own pizza workshop and a food related arts and stories workshop.

Music will run all day and into the evening with jazz and blues from the Dias Quartet, the Nova Scotia Band, Hot Tin Roof, the Duck Pond Beer Band and the Border Boogie Band.

Tickets are £10 per adult and all children under 18 years are free (but must be accompanied by an adult).  Book your tickets in advance and claim your first half pint of Referendum ale free!  Tickets can be purchased online:

For those that want to have a very special experience the Beer Banquet in the 18th century Dining Room at Traquair House will be taking place on Saturday night with a 6 course tasting menu accompanied by different beers for each course.  The price for a place at the Beer Banquet is £46.00 per person and as numbers are limited for this event places should be booked separately by contacting the office on 01896 830323 or

Contact Details: Catherine Maxwell Stuart  Catherine@traquair,

Tel; 01896 830323

Editors Notes:

Biographies of Participants:

Roger Protz

Roger is one of the world's leading beer writers and tasters. He is the author of 20 books on the subject, including the World Guide to Beer, The Ale Trail, The Taste of Beer and the best-selling 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He has also edited 20 editions of the annual Good Beer Guide. He was named Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2004 and in 2003 was presented with the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Guild of Beer Writers. He has won two Gold and six Silver tankard awards from the guild and 13 awards from the North American Guild of Beer Writers. Roger broadcasts regularly and gives many public tutored beer tastings, including the annual Great British Beer Festival in London and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

Jane Peyton

As founder (and Principal) of the School of Booze Jane has expertise in something that makes millions of people very happy - alcohol. Not just in the subject of modern alcohol and what best to drink but also the cultural history of alcohol.

Beer is a particular passion and Jane is Britain's  Beer Sommelier of the Year.  Jane has been invited to create and brew beers in a number of breweries around the country including Fuller's, Brewster's, and Ilkley Brewery where her spruce beer 'The Norseman' is an award winner.

She is the author of several non-fiction books including 'Brilliant Britain'; 'School of Booze' and 'Beer o' Clock'. Her writing work has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the Guardian and Independent.  Jane has appeared on TV and is a regular guest on BBC radio programs.

Jane hosts tours of historic London pubs and in recognition of a year of 5 star reviews from customers, the international tour operator Viator awarded her the accolade of Best Local Operator (London) 2012 and again in 2014.

Jane is also the founder of Operalicious - unique music events where the food & drink served is themed and complemented by a professional opera singer and pianist.

Pete Brown

Pete Brown is a British writer who specialises in making people thirsty. He is the author of five-and-a-half books as well as the annual Cask Report, and numerous articles in the drinks trade press and consumer press. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and is a judge on the BBC Food and Farming Awards and the Great Taste Awards. He is a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers, and was named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

Sophie De Ronde – Brentwood Brewing

I first got the beer bug when I was working in a well known real ale pub in Essex after I finished my degree in Equine Science. I was a bit lost in what direction I wanted to take my life, trying to find a job in the science and equine community was difficult to say the least so I continued in my bar job. Eventually I was running the cellar and fell in love with beer even more. From here I grew my interest in beer and decided I wanted to get to know the brewing side of it and so I asked the Brentwood Brewing Company, who at the time were expanding, if they needed an employer. Much to my joy they were over the moon with my request.

So I have now been with the BBC for 7 years and have grown a lot in that period with many ups, downs and steep learning curves. Through my own experiences I have also obtained my General Certificate in Brewing, and attended numerous seminars, most of all I am successfully using my degree (well the science part anyway!) and I have found a life in brewing.

In recent times I spearheaded the International Women’s Brew Day, 8th March 2014, creating the ‘Unite Pale Ale’ that was brewed in 70 breweries across the world. Along with this repertoire, I have created many wonderful and award winning beers with my proudest beer, being a mere 2.5% beer, having been voted champion beer of Cambridge and Belfast.