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The Wizard of Yester and the Colstoun Pear, Edinburgh and the Lothians

Little still stands of Yester Castle near Gifford in East Lothian; but happily the part most associated with its legendary owner, Hugh de Giffard, remains. That is the vaulted undercroft, which superstitious contemporaries believed had been erected magically by its 13th century owner’s army of hobgoblins – de Giffard being widely thought to be a necromancer.
A story at once romantic and tragic is associated with de Giffard’s magical powers. When his daughter Margaret married a member of the Colstoun family the supposed warlock Hugh presented them with a pear, telling them that while it remained intact they and their descendents would be safe and prosperous. Kept in a silver box the pear passed from generation to generation, untouched by time as the Colstouns were by troubles.
Then in 1692 the bride of the then family head, Sir George Broun, was tempted to look at the fruit, and worse still to take a bite – it had seemingly been untouched by the centuries. Soon Sir George was ruined by gambling; and the family suffered several accidental deaths in quick succession. Learning from this the family has ever since kept the pear – which turned to rock after being bitten – safe at Colstoun House in Haddington.

1 Response to The Wizard of Yester and the Colstoun Pear

From Freddy on 10th May 2011
For more info and to stay at Colstoun and hear the legend of the pear from the current laird go to

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